Three reasons to like Marlon Samuels

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We’ve really warmed to Marlon Samuels a short way into a short series. There are three main reasons for this.

Firstly, and perhaps most importantly, his favourite cricketer is Nasser Hussain. Anyone with such an inexplicably unlikely role model is someone to be admired.

Secondly, he’s funny. Jimmy Anderson is easy to annoy, but Samuels did it well. Jimmy was visibly frustrated yesterday and rather than say something bland about this at the close of play, Samuels instead gently prodded the bowler. It was funny, but also fairly friendly. He said he’d been holding back and playing for the team up until now, but once he’d passed 200, he wanted Jimmy to give him a bit more lip – the implication being that he’d really let him have it then.

He also added:

“To be honest, I can’t find too many bowlers that can bowl and talk. I can bat and talk all day.”

And then he told Jimmy he was his favourite bowler.

A third reason to like Marlon Samuels is that he seems keen to play for the West Indies. The team themselves are admirably pragmatic about their missing players, refusing to make excuses. All the same, it’s nice to see Samuels forsaking half his IPL contract in favour of batting at six in a Test series against England.

To a degree, Samuels embodies this Windies side. They’re serious about their cricket, but fun and they’re giving England a proper battle that has already been far more intriguing than a few recent series played out in this country.

Speaking of fun, Darren Sammy never stops smiling, even when his team is losing and a host of experts are saying he’s mediocre and shouldn’t be playing. He probably smiles during surgery. This doesn’t leave him much room for manoeuvre when things go right, but he must have been bloody delighted to make that hundred. On Test Match Special, Michael Vaughan fair roared with glee when he reached three figures and we felt much the same.

Well played, the Sams.


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  1. There are 4 things – he carries around one of Steve Waugh’s red hankies when he bats.

  2. If tomorrow isn’t also a good day for the Sams the match will be done and dusted by lunch.

    It has been a proper up-and-down test match though.

    Toss – WI up
    6 down for not so many – WI down
    200 runs for the 7th wicket – WI up
    All out for another 30 – WI down
    Cook out – WI up
    Cook not out – WI down
    Cook out – WI up
    Cook not out – WI down
    Cook out – WI up
    England 260 for 2 – WI down
    England all out for not so big a lead – WI up
    WI losing 6 wickets getting those not so few runs – WI down

    And while right now it might seem as if the WI down-ness is going to carry them through to the end of the match, just imagine a repeat of the first innings stand between these two and how the match will look with England needing 250 to win.

  3. I really feel sorry for the windies, increasingly Mr Hillaire is looking to be of the Ijaz Butt school of administration:
    Sarwan is eligible to play, but doesn’t want to until he finishes a full season of domestic cricket. Taylor wants to play but apparently wont be eligible unless he finishes a season of domestic cricket. No one is sure if Gayle is eligible or if indeed he wants to play.
    All of this information can be gleaned from the numerous open letters in the public domain, since the parties apparently aren’t on speaking terms. If half the effort that went into these letters went towards say completing a visa application or better yet, creating the circumstances where they could select their best team these games which start off so well would stop being so anti climactic and they could be a top flight team again.
    As man management goes it’s up there with with selectively and intermittently banning your senior players and/or persisting with Kamran Akmal.

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