Hosts West Indies open Under-19 World Cup vs Australia

Ackeem Auguste -
Ackeem Auguste -

WEST Indies Under-19 captain Ackeem Auguste believes his squad have the talent leading into the 2022 International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 World Cup.

The tournament bowls off on Friday in the Caribbean and ends on February 5. Hosts West Indies will open their campaign against Australia in Group D at the Guyana National Stadium in Providence, Guyana, at 9 am.

Matches will also be played in Trinidad, St Kitts and Antigua.

West Indies prepared for the tournament by playing a four-match series against South Africa in St Vincent on December 26.

Following that series West Indies played India in a warm-up match earlier this week in Guyana, which was followed by another contest against South Africa.

West Indies drew 2-2 against South Africa in the series and lost the following matches to India and South Africa.

The West Indies batting has been below par.

On Sunday against India, West Indies could only muster 170 all out in 43 overs in chase of 279 for victory.

On Wednesday, the West Indies batsmen struggled again scoring 189 all out in 43.2 overs. In response, South Africa scored 191/7 in 35.3 overs to emerge victorious.

West Indies won the Under-19 World Cup in 2016 under the captaincy of Shimron Hetmyer, and the team included fellow international players Alzarri Joseph, Odean Smith, Chemar Holder and Keemo Paul.

On Thursday, speaking to journalists on Zoom, Windies coach Floyd Reifer is optimistic his batsmen can deliver. “I am confident in the lads…we have a talented bunch of cricketers. We have some good batters here.”

Auguste is satisfied with the effort of the bowlers.

“The team is full of quality bowlers, so I was happy to see that they were able to pick up wickets regularly.”

Jaden Carmichael and Anderson Mahase are among the spinners and McKenny Clarke, Johann Layne and Isai Thorne are expected to lead the fast bowling department.

Auguste likes the enthusiasm from his players heading into the tournament.

“I think the enthusiasm from the guys have been good. I think we gelling well as a unit and I think we are very confident.”

Auguste said the strength of the team is the overall ability.

“We are very talented bunch, so I think everyone in the team can hold their weight. (It’s) a team full of quality batsmen and bowlers and a good fielding unit.”

Auguste, vice-captain Giovonte Depeiza, Teddy Bishop and Matthew Nandu have all shown their ability with the bat in the build up to the tournament.

In audio sent by Cricket West Indies, Auguste said the team will keep it simple in the opening match.

“Just stick to the basics for as long as possible, encourage each other, pull each other along and just play the game hard.”

WEST INDIES –

Playing Squad: Ackeem Auguste (captain), Giovonte Depeiza (vice-captain), Onaje Amory, Teddy Bishop, Carlon Bowen-Tuckett, Jaden Carmichael, McKenny Clarke, Rivaldo Clarke, Jordan Johnson, Johann Layne, Anderson Mahase, Matthew Nandu, Shaqkere Parris, Shiva Sankar, Isai Thorne.

Reserves: Anderson Amurdan, Nathan Edward, Andel Gordon, Vasant Singh, Kevin Wickham.

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