The uncapped pair of spinner Kerwyn Sirju and medium pacer Daniel St Clair were among four changes made by the Trinidad and Tobago Red Force team ahead of their Professional Cricket League round three four-day match against Jamaica bowling off at 10 a.m. at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain today.
The Esmeralda Sports Club spinner Sirju and Tableland pacer St Clair, along with rookie opening batsman Jeremy Solozano and wicketkeeper Steven Katwaroo will replace South Africa-bound Denesh Ramdin and Shannon Gabriel, injured all-rounder Yannic Cariah, and spinner Bryan Charles who was dropped.
T&T are currently second on the six team standings on 20 points, one better than their opponents Jamaica who are third on 19.
The two teams meet on the back of contrasting results in the previous round, with the hosts coming off a fighting come-from-behind win over the Leeward Islands and the Jamaicans playing out a draw against defending champions Barbados Pride after losing three-and-a-half days to rain.
Patience will be the key for the Red Force this weekend, especially after poor first innings scores against Barbados and the Leewards almost cost them those matches.
Red Force coach Gus Logie believes things are starting to look up for his team,
“I think the batting is improving. We have had two second innings where we showed that we could fight with a never-say-die attitude and I think that is important. I think we have the quality in there and we just need players to take responsibility and accept their roles and to execute as much as possible,” said the Red Force coach.
“It will be a patience game. We want the players to show patience and to fight through tough situations and at the end of the day, we want them to understand what is necessary for the team to be successful which is to have every individual at the top of their game,” Logie added.
One player who as displayed his fighting spirit is leg-spinner Imran Khan who battled through injury against the Leewards to set up his team’s win.
Khan said he is still not 100 per cent but is ready to do what is required of him.
“Jamaica have been doing well, and I think the guys will step up and silence all the critics and prove we are capable of scoring big scores. We can’t underestimate them. I have a slight side strain and we are still monitoring it but I will do anything to help the team come out on top,” said Khan.
For the Jamaicans, skipper Tamar Lambert says the team that makes fewer mistakes will come out on top.
“There is no secret around the region that most of the times our batting has been struggling. We will try to rectify that so that we can put up big totals and that is a big challenge for us.”
T&T Red Force (from): Rayad Emrit (captain), Akeal Hosein, Steven Katwaroo, Imran Khan, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Yannick Ottley, Nicholas Pooran, Marlon Richards, Lendl Simmons, Daniel St Clair, Kerwyn Sirju, Jeremy Solozano.
Jamaica franchise (from): Tamar Lambert (captain), Carlton Baugh Jr, Dave Bernard Jr, Nkrumah Bonner, John Campbell, Sheldon Cottrell, Damion Jacobs, André McCarthy, Horace Miller, Nikita Miller, Marquino Mindley, Shacaya Thomas, Keno Wallace.