Kelvin Williams, coach of the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force team, is calling for more consistency from his batsmen, ahead of today’s Regional Four Day Championship Round Seven match against the Barbados Pride, at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy Ground, Tarouba. The game will bowl off at 10 am.
The Red Force are third on the six-team standings with 67.6 points, with the Pride fifth on 56.8.
However, the results for the Red Force have been mixed lately, as they lost to leaders Guyana Jaguars at the Tarouba venue in the fourth round, followed by an innings victory away to the Leeward Islands Hurricanes at Warner Park, St Kitts and, last weekend, a drawn encounter away to the Jamaica Scorpions at Sabina Park.
The Denesh Ramdin-led Red Force have scored totals of 300-plus four times in six matches, but only Ramdin (68.0) and former captain Kyle Hope (49.75) have averaged over 40 thus far.
In an interview yesterday, Williams acknowledged that the pitch at Tarouba may favour the team batting first “because of the conditions, that’s why the toss is very important.”
The ex-TT all-rounder continued, “Whatever happens, we’ve got to bat well. We’ve batted well in patches basically. We just need some consistency as far as the batting is concerned.”
It may well be the struggles of the batting that have resulted in three changes to the team that was selected for the Hurricanes and Scorpions matches.
Yannic Cariah, unused for the three “Test” series between the West Indies “A” and Sri Lanka “A”, has been left out after posting 206 runs in five matches, at an average of 29.42, while fellow middle-order batsman Tion Webster has also be dropped after a return of 280 runs in six games at 31.11.
The other player omitted was former West Indies fast bowler Sheldon Cottrell, who has been a shadow of himself, with no wickets from only two appearances.
Batsman Akeil Cooper, pacer Anderson Phillip and left-arm spinner Ricky Jaipaul – who have not featured this season – were included in the Red Force’s 13-man team.
“I hope that they’ll justify being selected,” said Williams, who is also a member of the selection panel. “A lot of pressure would be on them.
“We’re excited,” he continued. “It would be a different challenge. We expect them to be a part of that and hope that they would (come good).”
Williams was pleased with the mood within the Red Force camp, and is expecting a good battle against the Pride team.
“We lost to Guyana down there and we (drew) against Jamaica in a high-scoring game as far as runs are concerned,” said the Red Force coach. “I expect the same thing to happen. It’s just that our bowlers need to be a bit more patient and to work a little bit harder. It’s a batting pitch.”
This is the last round of matches before the Christmas break, but Williams does not believe that the festive season will be a distraction to his players.
“We just came back from Jamaica,” he said. “We spent two weeks on the road so it wasn’t an issue. There were not much Christmas activities there.
“I expect them to do what they have to do and, then after that, Christmas will come to them,” he said.
In related news, there will be two other matches today – both day/night affairs – starting at 2 pm, with leaders Jaguars hosting the Hurricanes at the Guyana National Stadium and the Windward Islands Volcanoes entertaining the Scorpions at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground, St Lucia.
RED FORCE SQUAD: Denesh Ramdin (captain), Bryan Charles, Akiel Cooper, Ricky Jaipaul, Amir Jangoo, Imran Khan, Ewart Nicholson, Anderson Phillip, Khary Pierre, Roshon Primus, Isaiah Rajah, Jeremy Solozano, Daniel St Clair.
BARBADOS PRIDE SQUAD: Shamarh Brooks (captain), Anthony Alleyne, Jonathan Carter, Justin Greaves, Keon Harding, Aaron Jones, Shayne Moseley, Mario Rampersaud, Shamar Springer, Kevin Stoute, Jomel Warrican, Hayden Walsh, Kenroy Williams.
Points Standings - 1.Guyana Jaguars 97.2; 2.Jamaica Scorpions 67.8; 3.Trinidad and Tobago Red Force 67.6; 4.Leeward Islands Hurricanes 57; 5.Barbados Pride 56.8; 6.Windward Islands Volcanoes 32.8.