Samuels seeks to cement his place

Marlon Samuels is hoping his performance in the first Test against South Africa will help to cement his long-term place in the side. The 26-year-old West Indies batsman was named man of the match after innings of 94 and 40 in the tourists' surprise 128-run victory at St George's Park last week. And Samuels is eager to produce another good display when the second Test gets under way here today.

"Test cricket is very difficult and I would love to get a chance to play more Test matches back to back, instead of being in and then out of the side so often," Samuels said yesterday. "It will give me the chance of getting better scores more regularly and being more consistent."

Samuels has struggled with consistency during his West Indies career, with the right-hander having averaged just 27.30 from 24 Tests going into last week's opener. Although he was disappointed not to get his second Test century in Port Elizabeth, Samuels is happy as long as the team get the right result.

"I was very disappointed that I didn't get the century, but if I could score 94 and the West Indies go on to win every time, I'll be satisfied," he added. "I had spoken to the groundsman at St George's during the Twenty20 match and he told me that not a lot of runs are scored there in first-class cricket. So I made up my mind from then to put my head down and get what I wanted from the match and it actually turned out how I wanted it to."

Samuels also reserved special praise for the leadership of the West Indies captain, Chris Gayle. "Whenever you have a good leader who motivates people and doesn't discourage them, that person, to me, is a true leader and will always get support," he said. "When Chris talks to you, it is in a way that you take the positive from it."

The South Africa coach, Mickey Arthur, believes the heavy defeat in the opening Test of the three-match series was just a blip and remains confident his team will bounce back in Cape Town. "We've won four Test series in a row," Arthur said. "We intend to win this one too. The bowling attack has led us to victory in the last four Tests we've played, and don't forget they bowled the West Indies out for 175 in the second innings. We had one bad innings and that happens to teams from time to time."

Neil McKenzie has been drafted into the side to boost the batting. He is expected to replace Herschelle Gibbs, who bagged a pair in the first Test. The veteran bowler Shaun Pollock is also expected to return, having missed the last four Tests following a dip in form for the Proteas.

Graeme Smith, South Africa's captain, said he was confident his team would give a better account of themselves in the second Test. "We had a very good training session yesterday, and we seem to be hitting our straps again," he said. "Hopefully, it's just about executing and getting things right out in the middle. We know we're capable of it, we've proven our worth. We know we're going to play this game under pressure, and we know we can play a lot better than we did in Port Elizabeth."

The Cape Town pitch has come in for criticism in the past, but Smith likes what he has seen this time. "It looks like a pretty good surface, it probably has the best covering of grass I've seen at Newlands for a while," he said. "It has been a bit patchy in the last couple of years, but this pitch looks pretty good. It looks like it might take a bit of spin later in the game.

South Africa (from): G C Smith (captain), H H Gibbs, H M Amla, J H Kallis, A B de Villiers, M V Boucher, S M Pollock, A G Prince, N D McKenzie, A Nel, P L Harris, D W Steyn, M Ntini.

West Indies (from): C H (captain), D J Bravo, P A Browne, S Chanderpaul, P T Collins, F H Edwards, D Ganga, R N Lewis, R So Morton, B A Parchment, D B Powell, D Ramdin, D J G Sammy, M N Samuels, D S Smith, J E Taylor.

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star