ALL-ROUNDER Andre Russell said Trinbago Knight Riders (TKR) are equipped with the spin bowling ability to win matches in Guyana as the last leg of the 2022 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) T20 tournament, bowls off on Wednesday.
After matches were played in St Kitts, St Lucia and Trinidad the action shifts to Guyana for the end of the preliminary phase and the playoffs.
The final will be played on September 30.
TKR will continue their CPL campaign against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots on Thursday at Providence Stadium in Georgetown, Guyana, at 7 pm.
TKR are fourth in the six-team standings with three wins, four losses and one no-result.
The surface at Providence Stadium is often a paradise for spinners.
There are quality spinners in the TKR squad with Sunil Narine (off-break), Akeal Hosein, Khary Pierre (both left-arm orthodox) and Seekkuge Prasanna (leg-break).
Former English cricketer Samit Patel has been brought into the team for injured fast bowler Jayden Seales. Patel, 37, gives TKR another spin option as he is a left-arm spinner.
Speaking to Newsday following TKR’s four-wicket victory over Jamaica Tallawahs on Saturday at Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba, Russell said he thinks TKR can deliver in Guyana.
“I think we have whatever it takes in whatever conditions,” Russell said.
“We have skilful seamers even though the wicket might be conducive to spinners. I think we can vary our pace, bowl hard lengths, mix up our yorkers, slower balls and all those things.”
Russell believes in TKR’s spinners.
“I think if we can play three quality spinners that can get the job done. We have a world (class) spinner in Sunil Narine and almost to that world XI (quality) I would say Akeal (Hosein) is in his own right now. His maturity has been amazing in terms of bowling in the powerplay and bowling when the pressure moment comes on. I am very excited and I am very happy for him. At the end of the day we have whatever it takes to bowl on whatever wicket, so we are going there with confidence.”
TKR were inconsistent in their home matches winning two out of four matches.
TKR played two matches at the Queen’s Park Oval in St Clair and two at Brian Lara Cricket Academy.
Massive crowds showed up to support TKR in all the matches. Russell described the crowd as “crazy.”
Russell has showed glimpses of what he is capable of with both bat and ball, but is yet to set the tournament on fire.
Russell struck 18 not out off 12 balls to help guide TKR to the victory over Tallawahs, on Saturday. Against the Guyana Amazon Warriors last Wednesday, Russell took 3/16 in 2.5 overs.
Russell is not thrilled with his performances in the CPL, but was glad to contribute in recent matches.
He said, “I think the last couple games have not really gone according to plan. I am a honest guy when it comes to the team. Even if my performance was the same and we actually won the game it would not have felt that bad, but to actually be on the losing end and not being able to contribute in a way that I would normally contribute with the bat (was disappointing). It is good to get some wickets last game (against Amazon Warriors) and finish off the innings with the bat (on Saturday) as well.”
On Sunday, TKR lost to St Lucia Kings by one run. Russell cracked 23 not out off 11 balls, but it was not enough to get TKR over the line.