Kieron Pollard(Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)
Kieron Pollard(Photo: Surjeet Yadav/IANS)

Darren Sammy, two-time T20 World Cup-winning captain on Saturday gave his verdict on West Indies’ chance in the limited-overs series against India which will begin with the three-match ODI contest in Ahmedabad starting February 6.

Speaking on the sidelines of Legends League Cricket in Muscat, Darren Sammy opined that it will not be a cakewalk for the Indian team in the ODI and T20I series and hence the Kieron Pollard-led side should “fancy their chances”.

Darren Sammy goes traditional after Peshawar Zalmi's PSL title win in 2017 AFP via Getty Images
Darren Sammy goes traditional after Peshawar Zalmi’s PSL title win in 2017 AFP via Getty Images

Darren Sammy Believes West Indies Skipper Kieron Pollard Will Definitely Fancy His Chances Against India

West Indies have fallen back to some of their tried and tested players for the India limited-overs series. Fast bowler Kemar Roach has been recalled to the ODI squad and Darren Sammy feels the pacer will be key to giving breakthroughs with the new ball. The 33-year-old Kemar Roach last played an ODI game for the West Indies against India at the Queen’s Park Oval in August 2019.

“We need bowlers who can take wickets in both the ODI and T20 series. Kemar is a quality bowler. We all know his records in Test cricket. He gets wickets with the new ball. When you play against quality guys, especially in India, you need guys to get breakthroughs with the new ball.

“If not, you could find chasing 300-plus especially on good Indian wickets. So I could understand the selection process behind it,” Darren Sammy said hailing the Desmond Haynes-led selection committee’s decision.

Kieron Pollard is one of the most experienced players in the West Indies side and he has been regularly playing IPL in India for Mumbai Indians. Former West Indies captain Darren Sammy has opined that Kieron Pollard’s experience of playing in India will be helpful for the team.

“I believe Pollard will definitely fancy his chances (against India). He has been playing in India for so long, he knows the conditions well. At the (ongoing) England series, we have unearthed some new talents. I think West Indies could go out there (India) and do well,” said the former West Indies captain Darren Sammy.

Kemar Roach last played an ODI in August 2019 AFP/Getty Images
Kemar Roach last played an ODI in August 2019 AFP/Getty Images

After a disastrous T20 World Cup campaign in 2021, that marked the end of an era for West Indies cricket, the team was whitewashed by Pakistan in a limited-overs contest before suffering a shock 2-1 defeat to Ireland in ODIs. However, they bounced back strongly to take a 2-1 lead in the ongoing five-match series against England at home.

West Indies won the first game of the series by a massive margin of 9 wickets with 17 balls remaining. However, England bounced back to win the second T20I by 1 run. West Indies then registered a 20-run win in the third match to take a lead in the series.

Darren Sammy: India Have Been Strong At Home And Is A Force To Reckon With

India, on the other side, will head to the contest on the back of a forgettable tour of South Africa where they lost the Test series 2-1 and were whitewashed 3-0 in the ODIs.

When asked if the series defeat would hand West Indies the advantage in the contest, Darren Sammy said, “India have always been strong at home, they are a force to reckon with because of some really good one-day players.”

Kieron Pollard
Kieron Pollard(Getty Images)

The ODI series will begin on February 6, with all the matches scheduled to be played at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The three-match T20I series, meanwhile, will be played in Kolkata, with matches beginning on February 16.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) on Friday denied reports of a rift within the Senior Men’s team over discord between team captain Kieron Pollard and other members of the side. The clarification comes hours after a voice note circulated on social media and in sections of the regional broadcast media about the alleged rift between Kieron Pollard and other players.

FULL SQUAD For ODIs: Kieron Pollard (C), Fabian Allen, Nkrumah Bonner, Darren, Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Kemar Roach, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Hayden Walsh Jr.