Batting failures surprise T&T U-19 coach

Trinidad Express article.

Port of Spain, Trinidad - Trinidad and Tobago Under-19 coach Dasrath Maharaj blamed the team’s inconsistency with the bat for their disappointing performances in the West Indies Cricket Board Regional Under-19 three-day championships in Guyana where they finished last on the six team standings.

“We expected more from the batsmen”, he told the Express on Sunday as he reflected on their failed campaign when they lost to hosts and eventual champions Guyana and the Windward Islands and played out a draw against Barbados.

T&T lost their first round match to the Windwards having been dismissed for 74 and 154. 

Then Amir Jangoo showed up with 79 in the first innings and 101 in the second against the Bajans before another batting collapse saw the Jeremy Solozano side crash to 117 and 152 against the hosts.

Solozano, who was the best batsmen in the previous Under-19 three-day tournament, had a poor run of form, failing to score a half century in six innings, his best score being 43.

Brian Christmas scored one half century in six innings but he too failed to live up to expectations. 

“It was a disappointing performance. The batting really failed us, it was a surprise the batsmen did not perform. Amir got a hundred, Christmas got some runs. The batting really did not give us the kind of runs that we really needed,” said the T&T coach.

Maharaj also noted that the conditions did not have much to do with his team’s failures.

“I don’t think it was the conditions. I just think the batsmen did not really apply themselves.

“Even at Bourda where we lost the final game against Guyana, we thought we could have bowled first and pick up some early wickets and put them under pressure.

“That did not work out and we fielded for a day and a session and when we started to bat the fellows were just drained. They seemed tired. Having fielded for a day and a session, they were fatigued,” the coach explained.

After what he saw against Guyana, Maharaj said more emphasis needed to be placed on endurance and fitness and that any such programme should be year-round to ensure all players are ready to handle the rigours of the longer version of the game.

Under-19 and youth cricketers are rarely exposed to three-day cricket in T&T where many of them play for Premier Division clubs in the two-day league competition which is the highest level of club competition on the island.

And with only three matches to play in this year’s Under-19 championships, the T&T coach said it was very difficult to come back after an early setback.

“In this (new) format, some teams will be at an advantage and some have a disadvantage because when you have just three games, it really does not give you a chance to come back. You also don’t play all the other teams. I think you need to have more cricket for the fellas but that is a decision of the West Indies Cricket Board,” he added.

Despite their shortfalls in the longer version, Maharaj was optimistic they could do better in the 50-over competition which bowled off yesterday.

He said the players know that the other T&T youth teams had failed to win any silverware and that the Under-19 players are motivated to end their trip to Guyana on a high.

“This is the only thing left. We had a session and we had a long chat about the approach to the matches and the players are really looking forward to it. It is a different tournament, a different format but we still have to take the positives from the three-day tournament and take that into the 50 over tournament,” said Maharaj.

“We have some good players and this will give some of the batsman another opportunity to rebound and get some runs under their belts...

“Hopefully we can build some momentum and take that straight through the tournament,” the T&T coach added.

First Published In The Trinidad Express.

Tue, 08/05/2014 - 09:38