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Windies raise no alarms over Bell

Sunday, March 2, 2014
Darren Sammy: Unconcerned by Ian Bell’s arrival.

West Indies’ Darren Sammy says he’d rather bowl at Ian Bell than many others but isn’t writing off the England replacement. Sammy helped put West Indies 1-0 up on England in the three-match One-Day International series, with some brutal hitting at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Friday. The two teams return to the same venue today, where England once again expect to be without the injured Eoin Morgan and Alex Hales. The tourists have decided to call up Bell, from outside their provisional 30-man ICC World Twenty squad, to join those who will first of all take on West Indies in Bridgetown. Bell may then end up travelling to Bangladesh after all, should Morgan’s bruised knee or Hales’ thigh problem persist.

England’s reasoning is that Bell is adaptable enough to replace either destructive opener Hales or expert “finisher” Morgan, as required. Sammy is as a canny medium-pace bowler, as well as big hitter, and there was no sign of trepidation behind his off-duty sunglasses at the mention of Bell’s name. He said: “Whether it’s Bell or Morgan, we’ll do our planning. I’d rather bowl to Bell in a T20 than (some others). “But you can never count out anyone. Bell is a class act, and he’s done well for England. “We wouldn’t underestimate anybody.” That will be the Windies’ mantra again for the second ODI, as they try to wrap up the series. For much of Friday, the hosts looked in trouble—but Sammy and captain Dwayne Bravo smashed 116 runs in the last 10 overs, and then England were unable to capitalise on a debut hundred from opener Michael Lumb.

Sammy explained: “Probably they would look at how they bowled at the back-end of the innings, and they would say they didn’t execute their plans. “I think they were conscious of us hitting the ball towards the wind.
“They tried to bowl wide, but that didn’t go too well for them. “I don’t mind them not bowling well in the last 10 overs. It’s all good for us.” The defeat was England’s 13th in 14 matches, across all formats, extending the miserable run they endured in Australia this winter. Sammy added: “It becomes discouraging when it’s you on the losing end...and we’ve had our fair share (of that). “We don’t pay attention to what happens around another team’s dressing room.

“What we do pay attention to is the confidence and morale of how the team might be, and how we could capitalise on that. “The belief we had that they’re not at their strongest, knowing they’ve lost so many games, we were quite determined to go out there and prove we could beat them.” The Windies are scenting a series victory, and the World Twenty20 champions will not be getting ahead of themselves—worrying about Barbados and beyond—just yet. “When that time comes, we will deal with Ian Bell,” said Sammy.


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