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OZ series will be on similar fronts: Sammy

Captain Darren Sammy says he expects the West Indies and Australia to pick up from where they left off in the Caribbean last year, when they played to a thrilling 2-2 tie in a similar five-match one-day series.

‘It will be competitive out here, that’s for sure. I see it as a continuation of what happened in the Caribbean - over there in the limited over format it was a 2-2 draw,’ he said here on Sunday.

‘We’ve got five ODIs here so we want to play hard and competitive cricket. It’s always a challenge to play Australia anywhere in the world.

‘We believe we can come here and if we can execute our plans and play to our strengths, we can be successful.’ Last March, the West Indies roared back from a heavy loss in the first game of the tripleheader in Kingstown, to win the second encounter before playing to a spectacular tie in the third match.

The hosts won the fourth contest in St. Lucia to take a 2-1 lead in the series but then squandered a chance of a rare series win over Australia by losing the final game. Australia showed signs of weakness in their recent ODI series against Sri Lanka when they fell behind before coming back to earn a 2-2 verdict.

Sammy said, however, he would be taking no comfort from that below par performance. ‘We have a lot of respect for Australia, you can never count Australia out. They’re professionals and know how to dig themselves out of a hole,’ he warned.

The West Indies face a Ricky Ponting-led Prime Minister’s XI on Tuesday.


SAMMY BACKS CHRIS GAYLE TO HIT FORM

The West Indies captain Darren Sammy is predicting talismanic opener Chris Gayle’s return to form during the upcoming five-match one-day series against Australia.Gayle struggled in the recent Australia Big Bash League for Sydney Thunder, managing just 137 runs from seven innings. Sammy said Sunday he was expecting great things from him. ‘We all know what he’s capable of, but the strength for us is the way the team has performed together. We are getting stronger as a unit.’
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