CRICKET-Sammy says data offers hope for a turnaround in ODI results.


ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – Newly-appointed white-ball head coach Daren Sammy said the “numbers don’t lie” about the performance of West Indies in One-day and Twenty20 Internationals. Still, the analytics also revealed hope for a change in the two sides’ fortunes.

The former West Indies captain, 39, is preparing for his first tours of duty with the ODI squad under the leadership of Barbadian wicketkeeper-batsman Shai Hope – a series of three ODIs against the United Arab Emirates next month in Sharjah and the critical World Cup qualification tournament that follows in Zimbabwe.

Sammy said a deep dive into the data suggested several areas for improvement, and he saw some of it during the ODI series on the Tour of South Africa from February to March.

“The numbers don’t lie,” he said during a virtual news conference on Friday. “We are at [No. 10 in ODIs] and [No. 7 in T20Is], respectively, and we’re there for a reason. We have not been consistent enough, but then when I look at the data in front of me, what we’ve done in the last five years, what we’ve done in the previous year, where we’ve been losing games at different stages, probably we are not far off, and that excites me.

“When I see I’m trying to build an elite team and I look at what openers are doing in the world versus what we are doing, we’re not far off. There are different stages of the game, where spin is ‘killing’ us between overs No. 16 to No. 40, areas we could improve.”

Sammy said he would aim to make players more aware of specific trends and provide them options to get through certain periods during a match.

“If we could improve on certain areas and just be more aware of the situation, probably a different mindset and better skills, better execution, we’re not far off,” he said. “If we could build on these things and improve, the small goals that I have for the team, every period we want to start improving on our rankings, by the time we get to the end of the year, we want to finish in the top eight.

“We want to continue taking these little steps next year but are close. It’s just that in certain areas, certain times of the game, we are losing our way, we keep losing the fight in that period, and it puts pressure lower down the further the game goes.

“Other teams are powerful in those areas, and they can put pressure on the opposition, so I understand the data, and it is about having honest conversations about where we are and now starting to take action required to change our mindset and change the way we approach the game during that that.”

In their last 18 ODIs dating back to May 31 last year, West Indies have won only five, and one was abandoned.


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