Dwayne Smith, the West Indies allrounder, who returned to the squad for the Twenty20 series against England after an 18-month break, is eager to re-establish himself on the international stage.
“I am going to bring intensity and energy to the team,” Smith said. “I see this as a chance to re-start my international career. As I was training and working on my game [after being dropped], I kept telling myself ‘I just need one sniff and I’ll take it’. This is my big chance, I have to make sure I take it.”
Smith last played for West Indies against Zimbabwe in Guyana in March 2010, in a match that the hosts lost by two runs. In the lead-up to that game, Smith managed to go past fifty only once in ten innings, with seven single-digit scores – apart from being expensive with the ball – prompting the selectors to look at other options. Smith said he had worked on the technical and mental side of his game since.
“I worked very hard on my batting. I realised I have to be more patient and aim to hit straighter,” he said. “This new way of thinking has been working for me. The coaches have asked for commitment and I intend to put in the work required to reap success at the international level.”
While he was out of the West Indies team, Smith had a stint with English county Sussex, playing in the Friends Life t20 tournament. He said the experience in English conditions would hold him in good stead in next week’s Twenty20s.
“I was at Sussex for three seasons, playing a lot of Twenty20 cricket and I have good knowledge of what to expect,” he said. “I actually got the chance to play at The Oval [where the Twenty20s will be played] a few times, so I am familiar with the conditions and will be able to share that information with the other guys in the team.”
The first Twenty20 will be played on September 23 at The Oval in London.