Red Force to evaluate Four-Day failure
By RENALDO MATADEEN Friday, April 6 2012
Chairman of the National Cricket Selectors, Dudnath Ramkessoon, has revealed that a full assessment of Trinidad and Tobago’s recent performances will be undertaken following the exit to Barbados at the semi-final stage of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional Four-Day tournament. He revealed that a meeting will be held with the manager, Omar Khan, coach Kelvin Williams, and the players to examine the current state of affairs of the Red Force.
“We (the selectors) will have a debriefing and it is essential that we look at our shortcomings. The batting department needs to be evaluated as it really let us down. Whether remedial work needs to be done or whether we need to look at a methodical approach to the game, will be on the discussion table. There needs to be a reduction in deficiencies and minimised downfalls when it comes to recent displays but we can only disclose plans after we convene,” shared Ramkessoon. He conveyed that coach Williams is not “on the chopping block” as he has a remarkable record with the national team, although their limited- overs success has yet to see an end to the Four-Day title drought.
“There is only so much the coach can do, especially if his batsmen are not performing up to task. Our experienced players didn’t pull the weight we wanted them to and these relapses are hampering our innings. Definitely, mental strength needs to be more robust when our players prepare themselves to enter the fray,” he elaborated. He said that there would be discussions as to how a balance, with youth and experience, and with domestic newcomers and veterans, needed to be cultivated as the board seeks to allay fears of the national fraternity.
With Jamaica also thrashing TT at the Queen’s Park Oval in the group stage, Ramkessoon believes that a thorough analysis must be done before ringing in any changes. He revealed that Jason Mohammed and Rayad Emrit were players expected to deliver with the bat and ball respectively, but despite their experience and good form in the past, they underperformed in the longer version of the game.
“Both Jason and Rayad offered huge promise but their lack of runs was something we could ill-afford. I don’t know if confidence slipped but a lot of our experienced players did not deliver. With established players such as Kieron (Pollard) and Dwayne (Bravo) out on West Indies duty, we really needed them to step it up,” he lamented.
Ramkessoon also admitted that the younger players who thrived at the domestic level needed to transition with composure, maturity, technical ability, shot-selection and application, if they plan on moving to the regional level, and furthermore, to West Indian heights.
“These players must know that even if they make fifties or sixties at domestic matches, this will count for a forty or so at the regional game. That is not acceptable. We need centuries domestically and we need these batsmen to hammer seventies and eighties when playing for Trinidad. We had some useful scores now and then but good form proved elusive. Centuries win games and we only had two throughout the tournament (by Adrian Barath and Denesh Ramdin),” he added.
Ramkessoon relayed that players such as Justin Guillen and Aneil Kanhai must transfer their domestic ability into a higher standard if they plan to grasp national opportunities to the fullest. He did highlight Marlon Barclay as one of the newcomers who showed fluidity and orchestrated diligent, lengthy knocks on the pitch. He added that this toiling and patience at the crease constituted what was needed for longer cricketing formats. On whether it was a gamble to have Ravi Rampaul and Ramdin rushed back for the Bajan affair, he relayed, “These guys count for a lot in experience. We cannot discount Denesh’s form when fit. We needed to bat around him or Adrian. Denesh is our skipper and he has West Indian pedigree. Ravi offers that also. With their stats, we needed to include them.”
He commented that with a constant exodus of players to the Indian Premier League or the Windies, incoming players needed to make the most of their chances.
“Players also get injured or head out on external duty so we need our players, more so, the batting to step up and dominate when coming in from the reserves. Our batsmen did not concentrate and equip themselves for long innings and big scores. Even if we were never at full-strength, we could have used our talent to build long partnerships. We cannot discount our batsmen. They are sound but really let us down,” he divulged.
He elaborated that there were bright spots coming from the tournament such as the progression of Shannon Gabriel and Kavesh Kantasingh in their debut seasons. “They replaced the thirty-plus wickets of Sunil Narine to great effect. They put their hands up and were accounted for.