TT RED Force captain Denesh Ramdin believes having Dwayne Bravo as his vice-captain during the Cricket West Indies Regional Super50 tournament will be beneficial, after the pair’s chemistry and leadership helped guide the Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) to the 2018 Hero Caribbean Premier League title last week.
Their roles were reversed for TKR, with Bravo the skipper and Ramdin deputising for the local franchise which won its second consecutive CPL title and third overall.
Ramdin is anticipating working with Bravo for the 50-over tournament which bowls off on October 3.
He said, “It is always good to have a (high) calibre player with his experience. Throughout the CPL, we have worked closely together in terms of planning, strategizing, as well as coming up with good plans to beat the opposition team. Having him on the flip side of that – being vice (captain) and I am the captain – I think it is no different.”
Ramdin will have some experienced players in the team and is looking forward to their input. “We will work hand in hand and not only Bravo (I can call on), but the guys like (Kieron) Pollard, (Lendl) Simmons and (Sunil) Narine. All those guys with the experience makes my job a lot easier...It is going to be a good 50 overs (tournament) for us, we have not played together for some time now, so it is going to be exciting.”
The Red Force squad boasts a number of veterans with Simmons, Darren Bravo, Pollard, Narine, Rayad Emrit, Jason Mohammed, Ravi Rampaul and Imran Khan all on the team. The team also includes Evin Lewis and Kyle Hope, with Nicholas Pooran and Khary Pierre making the 14-man team.
TT fans will be expecting more success, after the convincing performance by TKR in the 2018 CPL. Ramdin expects the fans to turn up in their numbers. “The Trinidad fans are going to come out and support the Red Force; they are really excited about it, a lot of things (comments) on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Having these type of players, no doubt the fans will come out (to see) the Pollards, the Bravos, Narines. The kids will come out and support, it is going to be exciting and I am happy we are playing at home. Unfortunately we don’t have the knockout stages (at home), but we will like to qualify (from the group stage) and go to Barbados...Hopefully this year we could go a few steps further, get into the final and win.”
There will be two groups with Group A playing in Trinidad, and Group B in Barbados. The semi-finals and final will be staged in Barbados. TT are in Group A and will play their first match on October 3 against Windward Islands at the Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain.
Ramdin had a solid showing during the CPL T20 tournament as the 10th leading scorer. In 12 innings, he scored 272 runs with two fifties at an average of 34.00. Earlier this year, he ended the 2017/2018 Regional Four-Day tournament as the second leading run scorer. He scored 799 runs in 10 matches at an average of 61.46, with three centuries and four half centuries.
Ramdin wants to spend a long time at the crease in the 50-over tournament. “As we all know (in the) CPL you don’t get a lot of balls to bat, batting in the middle and lower order. Being elevated to open in the (CPL) finals was a great opportunity for me. It is just to continue that great work I have been doing for the last four, five months in terms of the four-day set up. I did well in the four-day, scored a lot of runs for TT, so I would like to continue that. In the 50 overs format, there will be a lot more balls (to face compared to the CPL), and a lot more time to give myself the opportunity to bat in the middle overs and put up some runs for the team.”
TT SQUAD: Denesh Ramdin (captain), Dwayne Bravo (vice-captain), Lendl Simmons, Evin Lewis, Kyle Hope, Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Sunil Narine, Khary Pierre, Rayad Emrit, Jason Mohammed, Ravi Rampaul, Imran Khan.