September 15, 2012
Samuels ready to step up
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CMC):
In-form top-order batsman Marlon Samuels says he believes he will have a key role to play in the West Indies team for the ICC World T20 tournament starting in Sri Lanka next week.
The top-order batsman, who also bowls off spin, is expected to be called upon with both bat and ball as the Windies, touted as one of the favourites, look to win the title for the first time.
"My role will be in every department: batting, bowling and fielding" said Samuels.
"I'm in good form with the bat. I did well in England and continued on against New Zealand. I have also been working hard in the nets and I feel ready."
Samuels enters the tournament with superb batting form following some brilliant performances this year.
He made a career-defining 117 in the second Test against England at Nottingham and followed up with a career-best 123 against New Zealand in the victory at Sabina Park.
"I'm always confident. I got some big scores in recent times and that also helped to boost my confidence a bit more. I feel I am on top of my game," Samuels said.
"I've been getting in the yorkers and I approach my bowling the same way as I have always done. I'm just trying to get the balls in the block hole and bowl as many dot balls as possible."
West Indies will play Afghanistan on Monday in their second warm-up match following their nine-wicket loss to Sri Lanka on Thursday.
With over a decade's experience in international cricket, Samuels, 31, says he is looking forward to the 12-team tournament from September 18 to October 7.
"The pitches here are not much different from those in the Caribbean ... slow, so you just have to wait on the ball and play it a bit later," Samuel said.
"We have a fit team and everyone is playing together. The signs are we will do well in this tournament."
The West Indies have been drawn in Group B alongside Australia and Ireland and both first-round matches will be at the Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
Their opening match will be against the Aussies on Saturday, September 22 followed by a clash with the Irish on Monday, September 24.
"I'm sure once we execute our plans we will be okay, but we are not taking anybody for granted. We will be playing Ireland the same way we are going to play Australia," he added.