Khulna: West Indies skipper Darren Sammy has brushed aside suggestions that Bangladesh were walkovers in the two-Test series which the Caribbean cricketing side won convincingly. Though both matches went the distance, Bangladesh's batting suffered final day collapses on either occasion to send the side to defeat.
Sammy said Bangladesh had been competitive in the series, pointing out that his bowlers did not have straightforward tasks. "We had to work for most of our wickets and the pitches were really good for batting," he argued.
"We stuck to our plans for most of the time. In the first innings in Dhaka, our bowlers didn't hit the areas. From the second innings and both innings in this Test, we bowled much better. Bangladesh, like us, are naturally aggressive but our batsmen were more patient and let the bowlers come to them, not try to go searching for runs. Once you applied yourself on these pitches, you were bound to get runs.
"We have a lot of respect for the Bangladesh players but we always believed that we could come here and achieve our goal of winning the two Tests, so we are just happy to have accomplished this," added Sammy.
Bangladesh pushed West Indies in both Tests but lacked the killer instinct in their batting when it mattered most. They led on first innings in the first Test in Dhaka, amassing 556 in response to West Indies' first innings 527 for four declared. Even after West Indies tumbled to 273 all out to leave them with a target of 245, Bangladesh's batting collapsed dismally for 167 to hand the tourists victory.
The Tigers also shone in both innings of the Test here but the first innings deficit of 261 proved too much to come back from, after the Windies piled up over 600 runs in their first innings. The West Indies have now won four Tests on the trot dating back to the clean sweep against New Zealand in the summer, and Sammy said the settled nature of the squad was playing a role in this success.
"The guys in this team played against New Zealand and were in England, with Chris Gayle returning to the team, so it's a more settled squad, just like our Twenty20 team is quite settled so is our One-day International team," Sammy pointed out. "The more we play together on the cricket field, the more we know about each other. The most encouraging thing for me is that when we turn up, we know what to expect from the different players. You know what Tino Best will give you, or when Marlon Samuels goes out to bat and he starts his innings, you know what you will get from him, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and all of the other players.
"We also have guys who continue to play domestic cricket at home who perform and will challenge for places in the team. The nucleus of the team is quite settled, but the guys have been performing consistently in the last six to 12 months, so it is a good sign for us."
The series win caps off a mixed year for the West Indies that saw them fail to win a single match on their tour of England and also go down 0-2 in a three-Test series against Australia in the Caribbean. Sammy said his side would continue to work towards playing the quality cricket they knew was possible.
"We will continue to instil that work ethic in the dressing room, and continue to go out there and do what all the West Indies fans want us to do - play a brand of cricket that the world loves to see and be consistent and try to win more matches," he said.
"It's a good feeling when you are winning, and it's even better when you plan and you go out and execute and see your teammates perform consistently. It was good being a part of this Test series and to see the little steps we are taking in bettering ourselves and moving up the ladder in Tests."