President’s XI take on Aussies
PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD - The WICB President’s XI will take on Australia today in a three-day tour match which gets underway at the Three Ws Oval, Barbados.
The President’s XI is being captained by Carlton Baugh and is the sole practice match ahead of the three-Test series which bowls off on Saturday in that country.
The Australians are expected to give star batsmen Ricky Ponting and captain Michael Clarke a chance to get some runs under their belt as they missed out on the One-Day international and Twenty20 series here. This series is expected to be Ponting’s last in the Caribbean and he would be keen on going out with a flourish. Both batsmen were in terrific form for their country in the recently concluded series against India.
Meanwhile, Leewards batsman Kieran Powell is hoping he can make an impact in the tour match and make the Test team.
The West Indies opener endured a lean spell recently in the first three Digicel One-day Internationals against the Australians and lost his place in the team. Left-hander Powell has played four Tests for West Indies, after making his debut in the third and final Digicel Test against India last July in Dominica. “I am very much looking forward to the game,” he said. “It is a wonderful opportunity not only for me, but the other players on the team to go out there and do well.
“I have done some technical work with the coaches to help overcome some of the errors I have made, but I was sick over the last week, and did not train too much. I think things have been coming together nicely over the last few days and I believe I am in a much better place now.”
The 22-year-old Powell was a graduate of the Sagicor West Indies High Performance Centre, which makes its home at the University of the West Indies campus here, where the venue for the match is also located.
He acknowledged it might be a homecoming of sorts, but hoped the conditions would favour a competitive match.
“I’m not too sure what kind of pitch they will produce, but it will be good challenge for us to play the Australians, and I am always looking forward to playing a good quality of cricket,” he said.
WICB President’s XI squad: Carlton Baugh (captain), Ryan Austin, Nkrumah Bonner, Johnson Charles, Kyle Corbin, Fidel Edwards, Jason Holder, Delorn Johnson, Nelon Pascal, Kieran Powell, Devon Smith and Devon Thomas.