DateLine: 20th February 2007
The West Indian selectors deserve all credit for spotting Marlon Samuels prodigious gifts very early for they packed him off for the tour of Australia in 2000-01 when he was just short of his 20th birthday and more important had yet to play for Jamaica in a first class match. A right-handed middle order batsman who oozes class at the crease Samuels plays every shot in the book with exquisite body balance, exemplary footwork and a technique that can hardly be faulted. Playing adroitly against both pace and spin and off the front and back foot Samuels is a picture of confidence and bids fair to be one of the batting bulwarks in the post Lara era. He has displayed his class in both forms of the game and has a century in each – both against India on the 2002-03 tour. The Test century at Kolkata was elegantly compiled while the ODI ton at Vijayawada was a merry knock - an unbeaten 108 off 75 balls with eleven fours and five sixes that helped West Indies clinch the seven match series 4-3. His slow off breaks can be quite a handful especially in the shorter version of the game.