Dhaka: Captain Darren Sammy was left defending the under-performing opener Chris Gayle after the West Indies slid to a 2-3 defeat in the five-match One-Day International series against Bangladesh here. The left-handed Gayle, one of the finest limited overs batsmen in the contemporary game, managed just 72 runs from five innings in the series as the Caribbean side's batting struggled throughout.
Sammy contended, however, that the team's performances did not centre around one player. "I would like to see all my players perform. Things don't always go the way you want them to. Obviously Chris is a very experienced player and I know he will come back good anytime," Sammy told a media conference Saturday night. "Credit to the Bangladesh team for the way they bowled at him throughout this series. They had a plan and they stuck to it. The team doesn't revolve around one person, it's a collective set of people to go out there and do what is necessary for us to win."
He added: "I don't blame people, I've always said that cricket is a team sport. We've got to pull together as a team. It's not every day the same people will perform and today we got a performance from (Kieron) Pollard and (Darren) Bravo and Kemar (Roach) got five wickets. We just need more performances from the team and that would make us more successful." The West Indies entered the series with their batting as their strength but failed to live up to expectations.
They were dismissed in the opening ODI in Khulna for 199 to lose by seven wickets and crashed for a paltry 132 in the second game, chasing 293 for victory. Even when they chased a moderate 228 to win the third game, they needed Marlon Samuels' century in order to triumph after the batting struggled again, and they mustered just 211 off 50 overs in the fourth game before their bowlers defended well.
Saturday, Pollard emerged from poor form to slam a stroke-filled 85 while Bravo, perhaps the most consistent batsman in the series, scored 51. The pair added 132 for the fourth wicket to repair the innings after the Windies had slumped to 17 for three. "The difference between the two teams is that we lost. We have not played our best cricket but we still put ourselves in a position to win the series," Sammy pointed out.