Windies team’s careers at risk after NZ loss: skipper

TWO STEPS BACK::The warning from Windies captain Darren Sammy came after his squad’s humiliating series loss to a Black Caps side ranked two places beneath them

AFP, HAMILTON, New Zealand

Mon, Dec 23, 2013 - Page 20

West Indies captain Darren Sammy yesterday warned that players’ careers are on the line after his side slumped to a demoralizing 2-0 series defeat to low-ranked New Zealand.

The Caribbean team, who came into the series ranked sixth — two places above the Black Caps — yesterday lost the third Test by eight wickets following a resounding defeat by an innings and 73 runs in the second Test.

“We definitely cannot continue like this,” an exasperated Sammy said after the loss in Hamilton, New Zealand, gave the Black Caps their first three-Test series win in nearly eight years.

The tourists escaped with a draw in the first Test in the Kiwi city of Dunedin when rain wiped out the last session of play, as New Zealand were poised for victory. The match marked the only time the West Indies have avoided defeat in their past five matches, following two thumping innings’ defeats in India.

“A lot of tough decisions have to be made. Probably some careers are on the line. Could be mine as well,” Sammy said.

“We’ve had sessions like this in the past three years. We do well in one session and don’t back it up in the other,” he added.

“Sometimes we’re moving forward, but we take two steps forward and probably three or four backwards so I guess we’re not really moving,” the Windies captain said.

The West Indies had no answer to New Zealand’s pace attack, which was led by Trent Boult, who took 20 wickets at 15.40 in the series, and Tim Southee, who claimed 18 scalps at 18.11.

Darren Bravo’s first Test 218 and centuries from Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Denesh Ramdin in the Windies’ first innings of the third Test were rare bright spots, but wickets tumbled around them as Sammy lamented an inability to forge partnerships.

“It’s up to us as a batting unit, the two batsmen out there, to form a partnership and we were just not able to do that,” he said. “In any organization you need to show that graph of improvement and like the coach always says, if you keep doing the same thing over and over again [you can’t] expect a different result.”