Darren Sammy tips super Sunil Narine to shine for Windies
It's not often a finger spinner strikes fear into the heart of batsmen, but West Indies captain Darren Sammy reckons Sunil Narine will do just that when the World Twenty20 kicks off in Sri Lanka.
The Windies last got their hands on ICC silverware when they won the Champions Trophy in 2004. But with a star-studded team including Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo that drought could be over come the final on October 7.
However, if they are to live up to their potential Sammy claims it will be on the back of super spinner Narine, who he labelled as the team’s X-factor.
“We have the best spinner right now in T20 cricket in our side and he’s been doing really well for us,” the skipper said. “The pitches in Sri Lanka will help him and I see him playing a very big role. He is very experienced in T20 cricket and he did quite well in the IPL.”
Narine has taken seven wickets at 18.23 in five Twenty20 internationals but it was in this year’s Indian Premier League where he really made a name for himself.
Picked up by the Kolkata Knight Riders for a whopping $700,000 in the auction, the 26-year-old justified the price tag by bowling his side to glory, taking 24 wickets at 13.5 to be crowned Man of the Series.
On the batting side, Sammy is looking for explosive opener Gayle to lead from the front.
But the former captain’s presence in the squad after a bitter feud with West Indies board is a boost in itself, Sammy insisted.
“It’s a good thing for us to have Gayle back in the team and the experience he brings at the top of the innings,” he said. “So far since he’s been back he’s contributed in many ways at the top of the order for us.”
With so many T20 specialists, many have tipped the Calypso Kings as favourites for the tournament.
However, Sammy was quick to play down the hype surrounding his side, saying: “We all know that we could have the best side on paper but we got to put all our resources together and play together and win, that’s what we are going to bring out in Sri Lanka.”