World Champs Windies ready for big game against Pakistan
DHAKA, Bangladesh – For West Indies captain Darren Sammy the equation is simple. As he told reporters on Monday, it is "go big or go home" as they looked forward to their match against Pakistan in the ICC World T20 2014 tournament.
The two teams both have four points from three matches – two wins and one defeat – and will go head-to-head on Tuesday night at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium. The winners will advance to the semi-finals. First ball is 7:30 pm (9:30 am Eastern Caribbean Time/8:30 am Jamaica Time).
"It's a do or die for us...go big or go home. This is an important game against Pakistan, who are playing very well at the moment. But as we said before we left home, we came here to retain the title, so we will give this all we have. We're going to do everything to defend our title," Sammy said.
"Tomorrow's not going to be an easy game. The thing is when we left home, we said by the time we reach the final Super 10 match against Pakistan, we'll know exactly what we need to do, and now we're only going to focus on what we have to do against Pakistan to win."
Sammy was speaking after the defending champions had a full training session at the match venue. The captain played a crucial role in the team's success so far. He scored a match-winning 34 not out off 13 balls – including 12 off the final over – to secure a huge victory against Australia last Friday.
"The people of the Caribbean really enjoyed the win. Everybody was aware of the build-up towards the game. It was an exciting match, a match where West Indies had to fight to come out on top. But they are also aware that we are not into the semis as well, and the message is just to go out and do well against Pakistan and make sure we get to the semis and take it from there. Tomorrow is a very important match for both teams, like it was against Australia, and hopefully we could repeat the same thing by winning."
Sammy spoke of the Windies' game-plan to combat the strong Pakistani spin attack.
"Whatever approach we come with, we definitely have to rotate the strike. It is something we've been working on and hopefully we can rotate the strike and get the boundaries in between, and play much better against spin than we've done in the past.
"We've prepared ourselves, and we knew coming down to our fourth game it would be Pakistan and we knew exactly what we have to do, and spin is something that we have to conquer in that game. With that said, we back ourselves, put our runs on the board and defend it, or if it's the other way around, restrict them to a low total and chase it down like we did against Australia, but hopefully it's not 170 we chase."
Saqlain Mushtaq, the former Pakistan off-spinner, is the West Indies Assistant Coach and Sammy outlined that he has worked closely with all members of the squad, including Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree – who are the top-ranked bowlers in the ICC World T20 rankings.
"Saqlain has been a good addition to us, especially with the spinners. We have the Number 1 and Number 2 spinners in our dressing room as well. We have been practising the way we want to go out and play, whether it be rotating that ball in the middle, we know we could get the boundaries, so we just have to do that," Sammy noted.
"You respect your opposition, but at the end of the day, we have shown that on any given day, the best bowler can go for many runs, like that final against Sri Lanka. We have our plans, we have to go out and execute them, and we believe we can do that."