FORMER West Indies fast bowler Tony Gary believes some of the Trinbago Knight Riders bowlers experimented too much in the last two home matches at the Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair.
After winning their opening match of the 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League by 100 runs against St Lucia Stars on Wednesday, the Knight Riders lost to Jamaica Tallawahs by six wickets on Friday, which was followed by a 42-run defeat to St Kitts and Nevis Patriots on Saturday.
TKR conceded more than 200 runs against Tallawahs and Patriots, despite looking in control after getting early wickets against both teams. The Tallawahs were 16 for four in the fourth over against TKR in chase of 224 for victory and recovered to score 225/6 in 19.3 overs. TKR were also on top against Patriots at the Oval with the visitors on 69/3 in the ninth over, however, Patriots recovered to score 203/7 in 20 overs, before limiting TKR to 161/8 in response.
Gray said the TKR bowlers are struggling in the middle and at the end of the innings. “That is a problem, we are not bowling well in the middle part of the opposition’s innings and at the death. We’re getting early wickets up front with (fast bowler) Ali Khan bowling good because he is attacking the crease...Shannon Gabriel has not been on song as yet, but you see glimpses of his potential and his pace, but the other bowlers on TKR side are trying too many things.”
Gray said medium pacers Kevon Cooper and Dwayne Bravo are trying the slower ball too often. “I saw so many slower balls from Cooper, too many slower balls. On pitches that give fast bowlers something in way of bounce, you have to bowl the right lengths and create an opportunity to get wickets or maximise the probability of the batsman getting out...What is happening with the bowling is, for example, Dwayne Bravo is out of form and he has become predictable with too many slower balls.”
Gray also believes after the crushing win against Stars, and then being in a commanding position against Tallawahs, TKR may have gotten complacent. “The first game against St Lucia Stars you won by 100 runs – the team performed marvellously well.
The second game, they (Tallawahs) were batting 41 for five and then Andre Russell came in at the number seven position and he joined (Kennar) Lewis. What happened, and it is a general thing, is that the team got relaxed, got too complacent.”
Russell scored a blistering 117 not out off 52 deliveries with six fours and 13 sixes, and Lewis scored 51 to guide Tallawahs from 41/5 to 225/6 in 19.3 overs to seal a remarkable win. “If you understand the psychology of winning and success, you would understand that the teams that win and perform well in individual or team sports are the players that are fully focused right through the event,” Gray said.