London: Marlon Samuels is keen to continue playing an anchor role for the West Indies in the Champions Trophy with responsible batting at number four position.
The Jamaican, who scored 30 runs in a low-scoring match against Pakistan at The Oval on Friday, hopes to make his No. 4 point count against India on Tuesday.
Two of his four ODI centuries came in 2012 and Samuels wants to play a more responsible role batting at No. 4 for the West Indies.
"I`m batting (number) four so I`ve been carrying a lot of load for the team. I`ll definitely continue to play that role and take a lot of responsibility," he said
"I have to bat through the innings. Whether I have to speed it up or slow it down depends on the situation. There are still a lot of shots that I can play at the end. A lot if it is a thinking process," Samuels told reporters at The Oval on Sunday morning.
West Indies spent a solid three hours in training at The Oval while the Indians chose to remain confined to their hotel for the third straight day. Unlike the Indian team management, the friendly Caribbeans let Samuels interact with the media.
Samuels said he has grown in confidence as an international player and his runs have proved that. The batting all-rounder, who bowls off-spins, has scored 3485 runs in 143 ODIs at an average of 30.84 and remains West Indies’ best bet to hold an innings together in English conditions.
Samuels says he has prepared hard to bat against a moving ball.
"I bat a lot of tape-ball; the rubber ball with tape on one side. It swings a lot. I trained a lot especially before I came to England and it works well for me. So the English condition doesn`t really bother me. I really enjoy batting in England, it’s a challenging place and the ball does move around a lot but I enjoy it. It’s something you have to work on before you come here," he said.
The 33-year-old Samuels has matured as a cricketer after being banned for two years after match-fixing allegations against him.
He returned to the West Indies Test and ODI teams in 2011, but it was only on the tour to England in 2012 that he proved himself. Against a quality English bowling attack in difficult conditions, Samuels scored 386 runs in five innings, with a century and three fifties.
Samuels will be a marked man when India play the West Indies on Tuesday. The temperamental Jamaican is looking forward to the challenge.
"We always enjoy playing against India. India has always been some wonderful people. We’re definitely looking forward to some good competition," said Samuels.
Samuels said the West Indies have the right balance to win the Champions Trophy for the second time after 2004.
"We have power hitters, batsmen who can bat through, all-rounders and very good spinners like (Sunil) Narine. So it`s a good balance. We`re just getting stronger," he warned.