West Indies skipper Darren Sammy sarcastically dismissed suggestions that his side was missing explosive batsman Chris Gayle, as his side lost the first Test by 63 runs to India.
Gayle is out of the national side for alleging in an interview that the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) left him in lurch when he was injured.
West Indies lost the one-off Twenty20 match, the ODI series (2-3) and now have conceded lead in the three-match Test series against India with Gayle on the sidelines.
“That our batsmen haven’t been able to seize moments has been happening for 10 years. May be the best thing for us is to bring back Gary Sobers, Viv Richards, Clyde Walcott, all of them!,” Sammy said at the post-match press conference when asked if his side can afford the absence of Gayle.
Sammy said there is little to separate the two sides and that he was hopeful of levelling the series when the two teams square up in Barbados for the second Test from June 28.
“I don’t think there is much difference between the two sides. It’s been a case throughout the home series for us. The games have been coming down fairly close.
“We know we are capable of getting 20 wickets. It’s just one area where we need to get clicking. Once we can put good first innings total, and I don’t drop Dravid or anybody again, we should not be under pressure to win a match.
“The way the bowlers have bowled, getting India out within 250 in both innings, we stand a good chance of levelling the series provided we bat well,” the skipper said.
Sammy went on to add that West Indies cricket needs players like Rahul Dravid and Harbhajan Singh who can take charge at key moments.
“For instance, the way Dravid and Harbhajan played. They took charge of the situation. We need more guys to take charge, do whatever it takes for the team.”
The captain wants selfless attitude from the boys where the endeavour would be to put the team ahead of the individual goals.
“As long as people take on the responsibility of putting the team first, we will be in a better position. The batsmen look good in the nets. In the end, you don’t score runs in the nets. You have to go out in the middle and do what’s necessary for the team,” he was forthright in his assessment.
Sammy, however, claimed his batsmen played Indian spinners better than they did against Pakistan.
“I felt we played the spinners better than we did in the Pakistan series.”
The lanky paceman had words of praise for young leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, who picked up seven wickets for 140 runs against the Indians in the series-opener.
“He got Mahendra Singh Dhoni in both the innings.
Actually it’s three in three, for he had also claimed him in the World Cup. He has been a shining star for us since his debut. He keeps improving every day. He got the results. He troubled the batsmen. He got the ball to turn and bounce.”