KOHLI? HAVE YOU HEARD OF CHRIS GAYLE?

De­fi­ant Sammy says side are fully pre­pared to take on hosts In­dia

7 Days in Dubai - - FRONT PAGE -

W est Indies cap­tain Darren Sammy ac­knowl­edges that his side go into today’s World Twenty20 semi-fi­nal against In­dia as un­der­dogs but in­sists they are fully pre­pared for the chal­lenge.

Sammy also says the Windies are fo­cused on their own prepa­ra­tions, not the omi­nous bat­ting form of Vi­rat Kohli.

The In­dian star was the lead­ing scorer in the Su­per 10 stage with 184 runs from four matches. He has vir­tu­ally sin­gle­hand­edly guided the 2007 cham­pi­ons to the last four with two mas­ter­ful half cen­turies in vic­to­ries against arch-ri­vals Pak­istan and Aus­tralia.

While Kohli does present a huge threat, the Windies have their own bat­ting weapon.

“Have you ever heard of Chris Gayle?” said Sammy while re­fer­ring to the left-handed opener who set the West Indies’ mo­men­tum in the tour­na­ment with his 47-ball cen­tury against Eng­land.

“We tend to fo­cus on what we could do in our dress­ing room and like we’ve shown through­out the tour­na­ment, once we ex­e­cute our plans right we’ve won the games, when we’ve not, we’ve lost.”

De­spite In­dia be­ing over­whelm­ing favourites to win on home soil, Sammy says there is al­ways a chance. “I think it’s 80-20 to In­dia,” he added. “It feels like David and Go­liath, but peo­ple tend to for­get David won the fight, so it’s some­thing sim­i­lar to that.”

Mean­while, In­dia will go into the semi-fi­nal (5.30pm UAE time) with­out Yu­vraj Singh who twisted his left an­kle dur­ing the vic­tory against Aus­tralia in the last group match. Man­ish Pandey has been brought in as cover.

While Kohli has led the way, open­ers Ro­hit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan along with Suresh Raina are yet to flour­ish.

In­dia team di­rec­tor Ravi Shas­tri be­lieves it’s time that other play­ers step up.

“You can’t de­pend on one or two, you need six or seven play­ers to step up to the plate, it’s not hap­pened re­ally in this tour­na­ment so far, let’s hope [the semi­fi­nal] is the start,” said Shas­tri.

“We have played 70 per cent to our abil­ity, so there’s still 30 per cent of ar­eas where we can im­prove, let’s hope it hap­pens be­cause in a semi-fi­nal you’ve got to get you’re A-game.”

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