Khan - No excuses for poor T&T showing
KINGSTOWN, ST VINCENT - Trinidad and Tobago will be looking to bounce back from their loss to the Windward Islands when the two sides meet in the Regional Super50 tournament at Arnos Vale, St Vincent on Thursday.
The Windwards crushed T&T by ten wickets in their four-day match at the same venue which ended on Sunday–a day earlier than scheduled–and T&T will be looking to make amends, but that might be easier said than done.
T&T will be depleted by the loss of skipper Denesh Ramdin and allrounder Kevon Cooper for the 50-over match, while young Naparima College wicketkeeper/batsman Nicholas Pooran has been called up to join the squad in St Vincent.
Ramdin was named in the West Indies team ahead of the Zimbabwe tour of the Caribbean which bowls off on Friday with the first of three One Day Internationals at the Grenada National Stadium.
Meanwhile, Cooper's Bangladesh Premier League (BPL) franchise, the Chittagong Kings are into the final of that tournament today, meaning the T&T allrounder will not be back in time for the Super50 match.
T&T manager Omar Khan confirmed the changes to the T&T squad, yesterday, noting that 17-year-old Pooran is the only wicketkeeper in the limited overs team and will make his senior regional debut on Thursday. The T&T Under-19 cricketer has already tasted senior team action, keeping for T&T in two Twenty20s against the touring Canadians earlier this month.
Also coming into the 50-over squad are the Ottley brothers, Yannick and Kjorn, as well as leg-spinner Samuel Badree. Spinners Amit Jaggernauth and Kavesh Kantasingh, along with allrounder Imran Khan, will be returning to Trinidad.
Khan also confirmed that Rayad Emrit will captain T&T in the absence of Ramdin. Khan is expecting a better performance from his players on Thursday, especially after the batting debacle in the four-day match when they were dismissed for 179 and 86.
Speaking about their four-day performance, Khan said there are no excuses for such a poor batting performance from his team.
"I think the batsmen did not adjust to the conditions and it was really a very poor display. They did not show the patience and application that is required for the four-day game. Most of the batsmen got starts in the first innings but they did not carry on.
"We need to apply ourselves more and as long as the batmen put in the hard work, they should be able to cope and adjust to the conditions," the T&T manager added.
"We are not going to try and make any excuses. The guys are professionals and they have to adjust to the longer version of the game and display the level of application required."
Khan said T&T coach David Williams had set targets for the batsmen in the team's bid to post a first innings score of more than 300.
"The batsmen are fully aware of what was required of them, so no excuses. Yes, we batted first on a moist wicket but that was no excuse for us to be dismissed cheaply.
"The bowlers fought back well for us after they (the Windwards) put on 124 for the first wicket. We did not bowl too well at the start. They bowled a bit too short. We know (Devon) Smith's strength and the bowlers made the adjustment.
"Ravi (Rampaul) showed his international experience and young leg-spinner Yannic Cariah is a wicket-taking bowler," Khan added.
Rampaul snatched five for 65 from 18.5 overs, including three wickets in one over, while Cariah chipped in with four for 39 from 14 overs as the Windwards were dismissed for 260.
"We restricted them and that was the opportunity for us to come back...we did not take advantage of it."