We took our position for granted: Sammy
The one characteristic that probably defines Darren Sammy the most is his smile.
The West Indies captain is on most occasions seen flashing one, irrespective of how his team is performing.
On Saturday, he could afford one for his team had, against the run of play, snatched a draw on the fifth day of the third and final Test against India, thereby giving the overall score line a semblance of respectability.
This after the West Indies had collapsed to a paltry 134 in their second innings, having started the day at a fairly comfortable 81 for two. Sammy wasted no time in admitting where exactly his team went wrong.
"I think we took our position for granted," he explained, citing complacency as the cause for the collapse.
"I think, knowing that we had scored 590 in the first innings, we relaxed a little. Some of the shots we played were not called for and we paid the price for it," he added.
Image: Darren Sammy reacts after the end of days play
'At one point, the tied Test came in to my mind'
With the match getting tighter and tighter with every passing ball, Sammy admitted he had hoped a tie was a distinct possibility. (There have been just two tied matches in the history of Test cricket, the first involving West Indies in 1960)
"All sorts of things were going through my mind, going down to the end," explained the captain.
"At one point, the tied Test came in to my mind," he added, before admitting he would have been happy with any result save a defeat.
"I was speaking to Kirk Edwards -- win or draw, win or draw, but we can't lose this," he said.
"It shows once you believe in something, there is a possibility of achieving that. The way we had batted in the first innings, it would have been heartbreaking to lose the game," he added.
Image: Darren Sammy
'The bowling unit has especially improved'
Even though West Indies had lost the Test series in a comprehensive manner, their captain said it had been a step forward for his team, crediting the coach (Ottis Gibson) for the same.
"For me, on a personal note, the coach has a way of bringing out the belief," said Sammy, before putting forth a detailed explanation of the point he was making.
"The bowling unit has especially improved. We have come out after failing to bowl out teams twice to bowling India, which was number one back when they toured the Caribbean (in June), out twice, going to Sri Lanka where we dominated and enforced a follow-on, to the series against Pakistan at home, which we drew," he said.
"We have competed very well recently. The guys are slowly but surely believing we could achieve things -- like in the last Test (at Eden Gardens), after following on, we scored over 400 runs in the second innings.
"In the first Test (at Feroz Shah Kotla), we were in a position to win. He (Gibson) keeps telling us that in order to win you must create an opportunity.
"We are creating a lot of opportunities. It is only about getting the belief that we can win. Once we get that, I think we can achieve it," he added.
Image: Ravi Rampaul celebrates after picking Sachin Tendulkar's wicket
The West Indies captain also expressed his satisfaction at the fact that his team had not allowed Sachin Tendulkar to complete a much-anticipated 'century of centuries.'
In fact, in the first innings when the Master Blaster had made 94, Sammy played a key role in his dismissal. "I did say a lot of people could be heartbroken. Unfortunately for Sachin the ball came to me and I caught it," smiled Sammy.
For once, his team had ensured the smile is backed by a performance.
Image: Darren Sammy