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Time to step up - Samuels urges WI players to lift performances

Published:Friday | July 29, 2016 | 7:00 AMJermaine Lannaman
Marlon Samuels

Senior West Indies batsman Marlon Samuels has called on members of the team to step up their performances ahead of the second Test against India, beginning tomorrow at Sabina Park.

Describing the unit as no longer a young team, but rather a team that is playing Test match cricket and, as such, should apply themselves, the stylish batsman said each player needed to show more determination and greater application.

"I am not going to be here and tell you that it is a young team. For me to say that is like finding excuses," Samuels stated during team's first full training session at the match venue yesterday.

"It's a Test team and Test cricket is big man cricket, and players should know that by now that they are here.We all have to step up to the plate and put up a better challenge to the Indians, who are very good.

He added: "Yes, we have new players coming in, but at the end of the day, they still have to deliver as, at the end of the day, one has to do good to keep their job."

Samuels, the most experienced player in the team with 65 appearances for a batting average of 33.39, inclusive of seven hundreds, also spoke of the need for new and junior players to try and be match-winners.

 

PASSING ON THE MANTLE

 

He said while senior players are expected to lead the way, what he would like to see is for others to take the mantle.

"It's a lot of pressure being the most senior batsman, as I not only have to stand up and bat and try to make a 50 or a 100, but I am also batting at number four and, as such, at times I have to be adjusting my game to suit the state of the match.

"I don't necessarily have a problem with that, however, during team meetings, I try to encourage other players that it is not only for senior players to get the job done, but they, too, need to do deliver as well."

The first Test, which was played in Antigua, saw the West Indies coming out on the losing end by an innings and 92 runs, largely due to centuries from India captain Virat Kohli and off-spin all-rounder, Ravi Ashwin.

The Phil Simmons-coached unit has since made one change to the squad with exciting, uncapped teenage fast bowler Alzzarri Joseph joining the 14-man contingent.