West Indies captain Darren Sammy is banking on replacement players to step-up when the regional side begin their campaign in the World T20 tournament next Tuesday.
Carlos Braithwaite, Ashley Nurse and Evin Lewis have been called up after Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Darren Bravo and Lendl Simmons pulled out of the squad.
Pollard and Simmons withdrew because of injury, Narine requested more time to work on his action while Bravo opted to play for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the Regional four-day championship.
“Obviously it’s difficult to replace Pollard and Narine who were key members on our side when we won the World Twenty20 in 2012,” said Sammy speaking at a media conference in Kolkata yesterday.
“But we have Carlos Braithwaite, who has replaced Pollard, and is an exciting allrounder. I hope he will play a big part in the tournament. There’s also Nurse replacing Narine. He brings in his batting capability.”
Despite the absence of the four players the Caribbean side, number two on the ICC rankings, is considered a favourite to win the WorldT20 trophy.
Their line-up is bolstered by a number of players who are sought after in T20 tournaments around the world such as Chris Galye, Samuel Badree, Dwayne Bravo, and Andre Russell.
“We dominated the world for a good 17 years. We had some great players. Right now we are doing that in Twenty20 cricket as we have 15 potential match-winners. We have a fairly balanced side,”said Sammy.
“It’s one format of the game we are really confident about. When I see all this quality in the dressing room, my job becomes very easy as a captain.”
Sammy’s men are inspired by the heroic exploits of their younger colleagues whose dazzling performances helped them claim the ICC under19 World Cup last month.
He says based on the quality of players on the squad he is confident West Indies can repeat their tournament winning performance of 2012.
“The good thing for us is that we have so many guys who are familiar with the conditions. Many of our cricketers are playing in the IPL. It’s about adjusting quickly,” he said.
“The sooner you get accustomed, the better it will be for you in the long run. We have our plan, and once we get there and execute then we will pose some difficulty to the opposition”.
They will play their two official warm-up matches against hosts India tomorrow and Australia on Sunday.
(Taken from CMC)