Birmingham: In-form batsman Marlon Samuels says he owes his recent success against World No.1 England to a new patient attitude, especially in the challenging bowler-friendly English conditions. The right-hander stroked a top score of 76 on the third day of the final Test at Edgbaston as the West Indies, sent in by England, batted all day to reach 280 for eight.
"I am playing Test cricket, one-day cricket and T20. It's a mind thing," Samuels was quoted as saying by Caribbean Media Corporation (CMC). "For me coming to England, the first thing I started doing was batting a lot of balls in the indoor (nets) and leaving a alone six, seven buckets straight so the mindset was to leave alone in the English conditions and spend as much quality time in the middle as possible. That's what I did in the practice game and the practice game gave me the momentum to come straight into the Test series," said Samuels.
Samuels arrived in England directly from the Indian Premier League and managed to make a quick transition to the longer format of the game. In his only warm-up game before the first Test at Lord's, Samuels got scores of 32 and 44 against England Lions at Northampton, batting for an hour and 40 minutes on both occasions.
Having returned to international cricket last year following a two-year ICC ban, Samuels said he had also been helped by playing regular cricket. "I am not doing anything different (in my batting). The difference is that I'm playing cricket consistently now. A lot of (stuff) has kept me out of the game for many different reasons so right now I'm just getting my time," the 31-year-old said. "I've been through a lot but I held out so I'm just enjoying myself. This is my time to enjoy myself. This is my time to shine," he added.
On Saturday, Samuels faced 114 balls in just over two-and-a-half hours at the crease, counting 10 glorious fours and a six off over long-on off off-spinner Graeme Swann. While there was no definite plan to be more aggressive, Samuels said England's attack - with leading seamers Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad rested - had not been as testing.
"There was no plan (to score quickly). In the first couple of Test matches, Broad and Anderson weren't giving me as much boundary balls …," he noted. "This bowling attack is definitely giving me more shots to play so I'm just playing them," he said.
With the first two days of the contest washed out, the likelihood of a result in the game seems remote. However, Samuels held out hope that anything was possible. "Cricket is a glorious game of uncertainties and I think we've put a wonderful total on the board, a challenging total so I guess we have to just bowl good areas and see how it goes tomorrow," he said.