The national selectors have tinkered with the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force batting ahead of their third round Digicel Regional Four-Day match tomorrow against sixth and last-placed Windward Islands Volcanoes at the Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair.
The experienced duo of Jason Mohammed and Kyle Hope have been included in the squad ahead of the in-form Ewart Nicholson and Isaiah Rajah. The Red Force have started the season with back-to-back draws against Barbados Pride at Kensington Oval in Barbados, and against Jamaica Scorpions at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba.
Nicholson might feel particularly aggrieved to be left out of the TT squad after solid knocks of 74 and 55 against Barbados in TT’s first match and scoring just two while batting once vs Jamaica. Rajah had scores of 0 and 25 against Barbados and was unused vs the Scorpions.
The national selection committee, comprising Raphick Jumadeen, Tony Gray, Lincoln Roberts and Kelvin Williams, has placed faith in Hope despite his abysmal showing since making his Test debut against England earlier this year. His lean run continued in the Zimbabwe series which saw him axed for the forthcoming tour of New Zealand, leaving him with a batting average of 11.22 from five matches.
Mohammed, who suffered a right thigh injury on the West Indies tour of England, is glad to be healthy again and aiming to reinforce the batting line-up which has been clicking this season.
“It is nice to be back. After playing the last ODI in England, I had an injury and unfortunately I had to miss the first two games,” Mohammed said. “It is nice to be back and hopefully I could add some more value to the batting because they have been doing very well. Hopefully, I can go there and continue what they have been doing and try to help them get even better scores.”
The TT batting has been below par over the past few seasons, but this year the Red Force batsmen have been posting some solid scores. TT posted 300 and 257 for seven declared against the Pride, while they scored 379/7 declared in the first innings against the Scorpions.
Mohammed said strong performances in all facets of the game will give them an opportunity to win their first match of the 2017/2018 season.
“Hopefully, we can play a complete game of cricket over the next four days. Trinidad and Tobago has been playing really well so hopefully we could play all aspects of the game almost perfectly to try and come out with a victory and continue the good all-round cricket the team has been doing before.”