Board Room Battle for Tourists

  • Last Updated: May 16 2012, 17:16 BST

West Indies have an argument to settle in the first Investec Test against England - which one of them will put his name on the Lord's honours board first.

Darren Sammy (r): Lord's is an inspiration

Captain Darren Sammy needs no reminding that his tourists are up against world number one opposition, in the three-match series which gets under way tomorrow, and are given little chance of success by most.

But after announcing that all his pace attack should be fit after their various niggling injuries, he reported each is intent on beating the others to a five-wicket haul against England - and he fancies his own chances too.

"They are world number one, and we expect them to play like world champions," Sammy said of the Windies' hosts.

"We left the Caribbean knowing it's going to be a very difficult challenge. But we also know that if we can play well and put runs on the board we back our bowling attack to get 20 wickets and win a Test match."

Many of the doubts surround the West Indies' batting, which - world number one Shivnarine Chanderpaul apart - is especially inexperienced, and is thought likely to struggle against James Anderson et al in early-season English conditions.

The counter-balance is an attack led by Kemar Roach, recovered from his twisted ankle and determined to play - along with his fellow seamers Fidel Edwards (back) and Ravi Rampaul, who had a stiff neck during the tour match against England Lions in Northampton.

"Kemar said nothing is going to stop him playing at Lord's, and that is the attitude of all the players," said Sammy.

"They all want to play at the home of cricket and they will put everything aside to play for the West Indies.

"There's been a lot of discussion in the dressing room about who's going to put their name on the (honours) board.

"Kemar said he's going to be the first one; Ravi said it's going be him - and I myself think it's going to be me as well."

Fourth seamer Sammy also has the outside possibility of a maiden Test hundred, from number eight, to get his name etched in eternity.

Darren Bravo, and Chanderpaul of course, are the men most likely to reach three figures.

The captain added: "Bravo is itching to get his name on the board, and the young players as well.

"There's a lot of inspiration that can be taken from Lord's - it's the spiritual place of cricket. So we hope magical things can happen for us."

Sammy's young team have hinted at potential - in their recent 2-0 defeat at home to Australia, for example - but never yet managed to consolidate a good position.

"It's about getting victories under our belt, and that is something that will come when we play more together and believe even more in ourselves," he said.

Runs from Chanderpaul will help - all the more so if the limpet left-hander can be persuaded to move up the order and keep his team competitive when the ball is still new.

Is it tempting then to do just that?

"Yes it is," said Sammy.

"It's something we've spoken about with Shiv as well, but he's been doing a fantastic job at number five.

"At the end of the day, we'll do what's best for the team.

"Shiv is a very experienced campaigner, and I guess he'd think about it and see what's best for the team.

"He has been (comfortable at five) and he's been doing excellently in that position."

The West Indies would be a very different proposition for England, if Chris Gayle and other Indian Premier League recruits had instead made themselves available for their country here.

But Sammy is not going to waste time wondering about what might have been.

"I'm not really frustrated by who's here and who's not.

"They are young; everybody is learning on the job.

"We expect some of those guys will make mistakes, and it's how quickly you learn.

"We hope this Test match could be the turning point."