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'Sachin deserves all the attention that he is getting'

Last updated on: November 05, 2013 18:07 IST

Sammy says Windies not wavered by the hoopla surrounding the series

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Bikash Mohapatra

West Indies captain Darren Sammy says his team will not be overawed by the magnanimity of Sachin Tendulkar's farewell series.

“Sachin, Sachin,” says Darren Sammy even as he arrives for a media interaction ahead of the opening Test at the EdenGardens.

Now these are usually chants from fans, ones that resonate when the Master Blaster is around. To have the West Indies captain uttering them comes up as a whiff of fresh air and the sportsmanship that the team from the Caribbean typifies.

And there is no better ambassador for the latter than Sammy, an amiable and ever smiling personality who loves to enjoy the game.

“I thought there’ll be a few cheers for Sachin. You can still do it,” he smiles, when asked about how his team is maintaining focus amidst all the hype surrounding the batting maestro.


Image: Darren Sammy (left) speaks to Marlon Samuels
Photographs: West Indies Cricket Board

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'Sachin deserves all the attention that he is getting'

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As Sammy settles down, his responses assume a serious tenor -- the smile on his face albeit remains intact.

“When it comes to Sachin, there’s nobody who can’t see what he has done for cricket,” explains the West Indies captain.

“He has been a great ambassador for cricket, not just in India but the whole world.

He deserves all the attention that he is getting.”

Sammy though is quick to affirm that his team is not particularly affected by the hype and hoopla.

“We just need to block it out,” he says.

“Whatever happens in the media (regarding Sachin), or for that matter in the opposition’s dressing room, is not a concern for us,” he adds.


Image: Shivnarine Chanderpaul
Photographs: West Indies Cricket Board

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'We are in a better frame of mind and are playing much better'

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Two years back when the West Indies toured India for a three-Test series, they were impressive in all but one Test -- the one at EdenGardens.  And if Sammy is to be believed his team has come a long way since.

“We have won six Test matches -- out of 12 with two drawn -- after that series in India,” explains the captain, adding, “Our players are definitely more experienced.

“We are in a better frame of mind and are playing much better.”

If the West Indies team is playing good cricket -- having secured back-to-back series wins against New Zealand, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, then the Indians are playing even better -- the home team having thrashed Australia 4-0 in their last Test series.

Sammy, being a pragmatic captain, is aware his team won’t have it easy, especially considering the fact that they haven’t played a match in the five-day format since March -- the home series against Zimbabwe. 

“This series will pose a bigger challenge,” he admits, before adding, “But we are ready for it.”


Image: The West Indies team arrive for their nets session at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata
Photographs: West Indies Cricket Board

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