Williams expects tough semi-final
PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD - Trinidad and Tobago cricket coach, Kelvin Williams, has indicated that his team is expecting a gritty affair and a “do-or-die” attitude from Barbados in tomorrow’s West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional Four-Day semi-final encounter at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port-of-Spain.
“We are confident, especially after destroying the Leewards in the last match, and we are looking to carry over this momentum against the Bajans. We are looking to play at all our strengths as we have key players returning for this clash,” confessed Williams.
He made reference to a reinforced batting lineup with Adrian Barath and Darren Bravo returning from West Indies duty. “These are capable batsmen and our run-getters. Adrian will prove key and after his century against Guyana, we know that he is hungry for runs. Adrian is looking to be in the Windies Test team so in this mission, I am sure he will be looking to carry over his form into this match,” Williams elaborated.
Barath also impressed in the recent One-Day Internationals against Australia and Williams conveyed the “Red Force” batting will be further strengthened now that skipper Denesh Ramdin is fit and raring to go.
Williams also pointed out that Barbados have given good cricketing accounts on Trinidadian soil in the past but believes that the Oval pitch can slow down the Bajan pace attack.
“Our batsmen will be catering for their short-pitch game which they used to boss us in our group match. We were on top for most of that game and won first innings but ended up losing due to the ferocity of their pitch and seamers. Denesh and the guys know what to expect and how to deal with it. The experience is there,” he added.
Even with Kemar Roach and Fidel Edwards absent for matches versus Australia, the TT coach would not discount the bullish pace threat of Tino Best.
“We must have safeguards for the Bajan pacers but I think the Oval will alleviate their quickness. Home advantage is also a good aspect to possess,” he continued.
The former national player admitted that this contest will be even more keenly contested as Ravi Rampaul rejoins the team. After impressing on the domestic front last weekend, Williams believes that Rampaul adds an extra dimension to the team, especially as he has proven a deft batsman when called upon.
The former national player believes that the PowerGen pacer will supplement an efficient bowling attack that has made up for the loss of Sunil Narine by utilising Kavesh Kantasingh, Shannon Gabriel and Aneil Kanhai to great effect.
With Kirk Edwards and Kraigg Brathwaite proving troubling in the match in the group stage, Williams professed that things will be different now that Rampaul is fit again.
“Ravi has spearheaded our bowling as well as that of the West Indies in the past. He has had a fair share of injuries but he is back and we are all excited to see him take aim at Barbados. The bowling and batting departments are looking good for us so I expect fireworks,” he ended.