Wednesday, January 24, 2018

No Panic

Barath not shattered by poor season


OFF TO HPC: Trinidad and Tobago opening batsman Adrian Barath gets on his toes to play a lifting delivery, on the first day of the Regional four-day match against Barbados, at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain on April 10. Barath made 16 and 15 in the match, which Barbados won by ten wickets on the second day. Barath was recently called up for the third intake of the Sagicor High Performance Centre (HPC) in Barbados. —Photo courtesy WICB Media

Mark Fraser

By his own standards, Adrian Barath is quick to admit that the 2013 regional four-day season hasn’t gone as he hoped.

But in the face of much criticism for his batting in the wake of Trinidad and Tobago’s inconsistent showings with the bat—suffering a string of poor scores, including the recent final against Barbados where they were dismissed for 110 in the first innings and lost by an innings and 22 runs—the opener is not willing to push the panic button just yet.

The out-of-favour West Indies opener enjoyed a season free from fitness issues after being plagued earlier in his career by a series of recurring injuries. And a number of senior batsmen have struggled to produce big scores, including Barath, who enjoyed a promising start to 2013 with back-to-back half-centuries.

The batsman, who worked with former West Indies star opener Gordon Greenidge last year to improve his game after being dropped from the regional squad, was recently called up for the third intake of the Sagicor High Performance Centre (HPC) in Barbados in two weeks’ time.

He is “thankful” for the opportunity, and “really looking forward to the new challenge”.

“It’s the first time (I’m) going to any cricket academy; what I’ve been doing so far was with the TTCB (T&T Cricket Board) and WICB (West Indies Cricket Board); I never been (to) an academy,” Barath told the Express. “I’ve done coaching with my dad, and my past clubs, Esmeralda, Munroe Road and First Citizens Clarke Road.

“This is going to be something different for me and I will try my best to do what I can do in that period of time. I don’t think I’m an old cricketer, I just turned 23, I have a lot of experience under my belt. I can only look to build on it and better my game.”

Barath will spend the next six months refining his game, and will also have the chance to play competitive matches as he tries to work himself back into contention for a spot on the regional team.

The Queen’s Park opener, who made a century on international debut in Australia, admitted things haven’t gone as planned, but is very positive about his approach. “I probably didn’t have the best season I would have hoped for,” he stated. “I know that I have to keep working on my game. That’s part of being a cricketer.

“That’s why going to the HPC, I will take that opportunity to work on my game, work on what I need to do, (and it will) give me a chance to look at myself and work on my strengths, my weaknesses and so on.”

He is fully aware of the criticism his batting has faced, but Barath wants to take things one day at a time.

“At the end of the day, there is no need to panic,” he said. “Everybody will have their point of view. At the end of the day I alone know what happens when I go out there. As a batsman it’s very simple. When you make the wrong shot selection (you can get out), and there is just one shot to get out. As a batsman you always try to (work to) the best of your ability. That’s the way cricket goes.”

About his move from Clarke Road to Queen’s Park this season, Barath revealed that he started out at Queen’s Park’s coaching school at age ten.

“The thing about playing for Queen’s Park, at the end of the day they have all the requirements and support and facilities in terms of developing and producing international cricketers,” he explained.

“I played for West Indies before I played for Queen’s Park, but at the end of the day it’s about continuing and improving, and I am always open to improving.”