Cricket

Published: Saturday March 22, 2014 MYT 7:17:02 PM
Updated: Saturday March 22, 2014 MYT 7:17:55 PM

Sammy stonewalls Raina's 'can't rotate' jibe

West Indies' Darren Sammy shakes hands with England's Ravi Bopara (L) during the first T20 international cricket match at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown March 9, 2014. REUTERS/Philip Brown

West Indies' Darren Sammy shakes hands with England's Ravi Bopara (L) during the first T20 international cricket match at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown March 9, 2014. REUTERS/Philip Brown

MIRPUR, Bangladesh (Reuters) - West Indies captain Darren Sammy laughed off Indian batsman Suresh Raina's claim that the big-hitting Caribbean cricketers cannot rotate the strike and dared the Indians to stop his batsmen from hitting sixes in Sunday's World Twenty20 match.

Having played against and with West Indies players in the Indian Premier League Twenty20 competition, Raina did not doubt the big-hitting prowess of Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo or Marlon Samuels.

"West Indies will be a totally different team as they have a lot of players who can hit sixes but they don't have an idea about how to rotate the strike against spinners by taking singles and twos," Raina told reporters.

"Therefore, the more pressure we put on the bigger players, the better it will be for us," the 27-year-old left-hander said on the eve of the group two super 10 stage match at the Sher-e-Bangla National stadium.

Less than an hour after Raina left, Sammy was in the same room, spinning on the swivel chair with childlike glee before the questions began.

"Raina has a right to say whatever he wants," the ever-smiling Sammy said. "But if he feels we're (just) six-hitters, then they got to stop up from hitting sixes."

Focusing on the serious task of defending the World Twenty20 title, Sammy said his team's batting strength should see them through in Bangladesh.

"The good thing in our team is we don't really have to rely on any one person. We have at least four, five, six potential match-winners.

"Yes, it is important to handle spin better but like I said, I'm quite happy with the team and batting line-up is not a concern.

"In the shorter format, the bulk of your runs have to come from the top four-five. We have strong guys at the top of the order, (in the) middle Marlon and (Lendl) Simmons or (Dwayne) Bravo and coming down to me and (Andre) Russell.

"We're not looking at one person to deliver. You may have a brilliant team but it takes a total team effort."

(Editing by Ed Osmond)

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