“Cricket is a game of action. You can talk all you want but it is the action that matters. West Indies acted today. It feels very good to bring it home. We fought for it. Faulkner will not like us anymore.”
This was the reply Darren Sammy gave after making a stunning knock to drive West Indies to an unlikely victory. It is kind of an irony, considering that many of the cricket pundits wanted him to be stripped off his captaincy, as they felt that only that was keeping him inside the team.
But nowadays, the St Lucian has been proving them wrong again, and again, atleast considering the shortest formats.
Yes, West Indians are not the same intimidating side as before. But they are not out. They are still a force to be reckoned with in the shorter formats of the game, and Darren Sammy has been showing us why.
Ever since the tour of New Zealand, we are seeing a whole new Darren Sammy. Not as a Shahid Afridiesque closed-eyed slogger, but a great finisher and a more than handy medium pacer. He has gracefully accepted his cricketing limitations, but when heart is in playing cricket, what can stop you?
Not many cricketers are known to lead from the front. Why not? Even the greatest of batsmen and bowlers were poor captains, and it is not their fault. Being a leader is different is being a captain, and Sammy is amongst them. It is not about tactical field settings or strategic bowling changes, it is about leading from the front and inspire the team to do the same.
“I don’t particularly like them. Nobody in particular. Good players are good players, but you have to do things to get under their skin and try and irritate them to try and get them off their game.”
“There are a few players I would like to knock over and more importantly I’d like to beat them.
Considering the statements given by James Faulkner before the match, any guy would have been boiling to go out there and kick him. But Sammy won it for WI. He showed that no sledging will stop the “Calypso Kings” from playing genuine cricket. And Sammy deserves the whole credit for that. Their celebrations after the match meant how much the victory meant for them.
But the line is not finished, both for WI and Sammy. While WI are right on track to proceed further into the tournament, Sammy has put his career right back on the radar. Not as a flamboyant hitter and a mediocre pacer, but as a efficient finisher and a leader from the front. He still has many years left in him, and he has the perfect opportunity to make every day of it count.