By Alvin Corneal
No, there is no sarcasm in my original comment. Despite all the poor results which may have dampened the spirits of the local cricket fans, I believe that this selected team will win the tournament.
It is very refreshing to see that some selectors have demonstrated a form of recognition for the likes of Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Ravi Rampaul, and Sunil Narine, maybe to the disgust of Clive Lloyd and his staff.
The choice of Evin Lewis, Akeal Hosein, Jeremy Solozano, Nicholas Sookdeosingh and young Nicholas Pooran will find some stable support in Darren Bravo, Jason Mohammed, Imran Khan, and of course the allround ability of Rayad Emrit the selected skipper.
The presence of coach Gus Logie will take this team to the top because he is a student of the game and has the ability to improve the quality of the players. He will not accept mediocrity from his team and the mature approach will be just what our present crop of players need.
The next ten days are essential to the preparation of the team. Bowlers must be disciplined in their line and length, while our batsmen will surely be instructed to plan their innings intelligently, rather than going with the previously adventurous strokeplay for which they have done in the past.
The ODI game can be planned better than the T20 bash and our players must recognize the difference.
I distinctly recall the days when the top teams in the world had worked out a stringent plan when batting. They aimed at four to five runs per over in the first ten overs, six runs per over in the next twenty overs, eight runs in the next twenty, and go for broke in the final ten, aiming at approximately 320 plus.
The element of risk in losing careless wickets will be lessened and all the talented batsmen will not have to attempt low risks shots early in their innings.
Of course there could be changes depending upon the weather or good partnerships in the early part of the innings, plus excellent running between wickets.
I will back Rampaul, Dwayne Bravo, Khan and Narine to dismiss any of these opponents under 250 runs.
Rampaul is still the most accurate fast bowler in the West Indies, despite what Lloyd and company may wish to believe, while Narine will be the top wicket taker in the tournament.
The task of Logie will be to ensure that the fielding is at the level of which he has always demonstrated in his day.
Planning is essential and given the natural talents of the chosen players, this team will bring some respectability back to the cricket fields in T&T.