Having started off the five-match ODI series with two low scores and misfiring for a while now, there has been widespread criticism of veteran right-hand batsman, Marlon Samuels.
Samuels managed 0 and only 13 in Guwahati and Visakhapatnam and being 1-0 down in the series, West Indies really need their most experienced member to stand up and help fight the might of Virat Kohli led Indian team.
However, Samuels, who has played 201 ODIs, amassing 5,485 runs at 33.4, has shown in the past what he is so dangerously capable of. Aware of that infinite prowess, head coach Stuart Law continues to back him.
“You can write him off at your own peril. He is one of those players who stands up on a big occasion,” said Law, ahead of the third ODI at Pune on Saturday, October 27, "We all know what Marlon can do in the finals. He is basically here to help the young kids; we have a very inexperienced squad. He needs to help those young guys learn very quickly on the field and he’s doing a great job.”
“We have all seen young players around him, be it at practice or at the hotel, on the way to the bus. That is a great sign that he is offering his wealth of 201 games to these young fellas,” he added.
While Samuels has struggled against Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in the series so far, Law emphasized, “Marlon is a good player of spin. That is why he is batting down the order. His job is to come out and combat spin. He looks like he has improved from the first game to the second. Hopefully, he will keep getting better in the third, fourth and fifth (games),”
In line with this, Samuels also finds support from skipper Jason Holder, who said, “He’s obviously got a wealth of experience and thrives on competition. He’s one of the most competitive players I’ve ever come across. Hopefully, he will pass the knowledge to the younger lot.”
(Inputs from PTI)