x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Darren Sammy's leadership has helped West Indies progress

What he has brought is difficult to pinpoint, but have they not looked more solid, more together, a little greater than the sum of their parts?

Darren Sammy has given the West Indies some assured leadership.
Darren Sammy has given the West Indies some assured leadership.

Is there an international captain doing a more remarkable job than Darren Sammy? Misbah-ul-Haq has done wonders but he has a stronger talent pool and a healthier domestic structure to work with. Bangladesh's Mushfiqur Rehman might do likewise but that is for the future.

There is little about Sammy that is ostensibly impressive. On numbers he is the kind of cricketer whose figures in retrospect prompt you to ask: so what was he, a bowler, batsman, both, neither? And why was he even selected, let alone appointed captain? And it is not that he has turned fortunes around entirely (two wins, four losses and seven draws as Test captain, 13 wins, 19 losses as ODI captain)

But something about the West Indies' persistent downwards slide has, if not been arrested, then slowed down under him.

What he has brought is difficult to pinpoint, but have they not looked more solid, more together, a little greater than the sum of their parts? Individually he has brought commitment, dignity and a sense of gratefulness to his role, a feeling that to be leader is to be honoured. None of that can be said of some of his recent predecessors.

And to be at the same time fair and optimistic, he does now have talent at his disposal. Darren Bravo, Kraigg Brathwaite, Devendra Bishoo, Kemar Roach and Fidel Edwards should be reason enough for cheer; add the experience of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, possibly the returning Chris Gayle and even Dwayne Bravo at some point to the Test side and that slide may yet become a steady upwards crawl.

osamiuddin@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE & Osman Samiuddin @OsmanSamiuddin