Sammy: Windies' job not yet done
WEST Indies captain Darren Sammy believes "half the job is done" as the regional team looks forward to a rare Test series win against New Zealand in the second and final match which starts Thursday at Sabina Park.
Sammy, whose team won the opening Test in Antigua by nine wickets to take a 1-0 lead in the Digicel home series, stressed that complacency should not set in.
"Half the job is done. We won the first Test and we have one more here in Jamaica and we are looking forward to it. It's good to win games, but we can't get complacent.
"We still got to go out and do the same things again, or do even better," he said upon the arrival of the teams at the Norman Manley International Airport yesterday.
In Antigua, the big-hitting left-hander Christopher Gayle — playing his first Test match since 2010 — powered to 150 and 64 not out against a rusty-looking Kiwi bowling attack.
Gayle's left-handed opening partner, Kieran Powell, crafted 134 in the first innings for his maiden Test ton and contributed 33 in the winning run chase.
The highly rated spinner Sunil Narine took a haul of eight wickets to win the Player-of-the-Match Award, while pacer Kemar Roach turned in a spirited performance on day five to cripple the visitors' batting. The combative Roach finished with 5-60 in that innings.
Sammy said Gayle's return has brought solidity to the top order, adding that the other players played vital roles.
"We have Chris back, giving us that type of experience at the top. Powell had that (century) innings that was really good. We have Narine as a match-winner and we also have Kemar, so I think we have a good mix in the team.
"In that (first) Test match we did what we had to do. The batsmen got a good first-innings score and the bowlers backed it up," said the 28-year-old.
Sammy also confirmed that pacer Fidel Edwards has replaced Ravi Rampaul, who has a slight groin strain.
Meanwhile, New Zealand's bowling coach Damien Wright said much attention will be paid to Gayle and Powell after first-wicket stands of 254 and 77 in Antigua.
"We've got to go over a few things. Things haven't gone the way we planned, especially going up against someone like Chris Gayle. He's such a destructive sort of player. He's obviously a class player and on his own surface and in these conditions in Jamaica it is going to be very difficult.
"We should have a good look on how we are going to get him this Test match," he said.
"Obviously Powell... played really well and he kind of slipped under our radar a little bit, but we need to have a good look at their entire top order," he said.
The Australian-born Wright, who claimed 406 wickets in 123 first-class matches, hinted at the possibility of changes to the team and called on the bowlers to be more consistent than in previous matches on tour.
"We'll be looking at different strategies and some different players... We didn't hit our right areas enough, or consistently. We over-pitched a lot of times. We really were either a little bit too short or a little too full and we weren't able to create enough pressure.
"We learnt a lot from how the West Indian boys bowled, especially with the second new ball yesterday (Sunday). They hit the wicket really hard. There's a lot of energy required and we will have to look into perhaps having the seamers bowl shorter spells," he said.
West Indies — Darren Sammy (capt), Christopher Gayle, Kieran Powell, Assad Fudadin, Marlon Samuels, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Denesh Ramdin, Sunil Narine, Kemar Roach, Tino Best, Fidel Edwards, Adrian Barath.
New Zealand — Ross Taylor (capt), Martin Guptill, Daniel Flynn, Brendon McCullum, Kane Williamson, Dean Brownlie, Kruger van Wyk, Daniel Vettori, Doug Bracewell, Chris Martin, Neil Wagner, Trent Boult, Tarun Nethula, Tim Southee, BJ Watling.