The best performance I've been part of
Wavell Hinds, Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle
What a great feeling to finally be talking about a Test match victory again. It was a hard fought win in Port Elizabeth but everyone contributed and we got what we deserved.
Waking up the morning after the game, which should have been the fifth day, was a damn good feeling knowing we had gone 1-0 up. I can’t argue at all about the start we have made to this series in South Africa. It’s brilliant that the whole of the Caribbean will be on a high because of what we did. I hope we can keep them smiling for the rest of the series.
It was definitely the best performance I have been part of by a West Indies team because West Indies has never won a Test on South African soil before so it’s always special to be the first. And the fact South Africa are ranked the second best team in the world also makes it a sweet victory because teams don’t come here and have it easy.
There have been many statistics mentioned about what we have achieved but maybe the best one is that not only is it our first win in Test cricket since June 2005 but it’s also our first win in a Test overseas against a major team since beating England in Birmingham in 2000.
Unfortunately, after winning that match at Edgbaston, though, West Indies went on to lose the series 3-1 so we will certainly be aware of that and try to make sure we don’t get too far ahead of ourselves.
I wouldn’t say though that we will be learning from what happened in 2000 because not enough of the current team were around then - it’s too far back. We have a different set of players now and it’s a fresh start and it’s the first time I have been in this position.
We celebrated our win as it meant a lot to us but we knew at the same time that the second Test was only a few days away so although we are on a high the job is not done yet. South Africa are going to come hard at us in Cape Town and we have to be ready.
I spoke before the series about winning sessions and one thing that gives us confidence for Cape Town is that we only lost one or two sessions in Port Elizabeth so we will learn from the times we let ourselves down and keep trying to improve.
As for me and the captaincy I am enjoying it but I am not going to put any added pressure on myself. I’m just going to be the same person and same player. I want us all to help each other and work together as a team. Our injured skipper Ramnaresh Sarwan called me after we won the Test and congratulated us and that was a nice touch by him. We all hope he can recover from his injury soon, though I don’t know when that will be; maybe in time for the one-day series.
New Year’s Eve will be quiet with the second Test so close, but it’s another opportunity for the guys to spend time together. On Christmas Day we had a team lunch and team dinner and exchanged gifts and had a few laughs amongst ourselves so that was a nice build-up to the first Test. We haven’t got any family out here with us so we are one big family as a squad.
Guyan360: Just wondering what's going through Gayle's mind after he batted with a broken finger. Now he feels the pain of captaincy once experienced by the great Sir Charles. Without support, a Captain cannot win it alone. There have been gossips across the region that Gayle is one of four players that withdrew their support under Lara's captaincy. What goes around, comes around in this West Indies team.
Now Gayle is bawling for help....check this out Gayle is calling for Sarwan when Lara's bat is firing. Can anyone explain why is the West Indies captain playing regional cricket when his side is badly lacking human resources on tour in South Africa? Brainless WI administartors. Hopefully Imran Khan, the team's media guy can put all of this in perspective for us.
Guyana360: Great blogging in 2008