Trinidad and Tobago opening batsman Adrian Barath has not had the best form in 2013 after a good start to the season, but T&T are banking on the 23-year-old to come good in today's semi-final against Combined Campuses and College (CCC) at Kensington Oval, Barbados from 2.30 p.m.
Barath has had a number of starts this season, but has not managed to kick on after a few half centuries in his early matches. Skipper Denesh Ramdin is calling for runs from his inconsistent, but experienced top order, and has put his faith in the out-of-favour West Indies opener.
I have spoken to Barath and he agrees that he has to be a bit more selective," said the T&T and West Indies wicketkeeper yesterday. "He has all the shots in the book and has been in reasonable form, but has not delivered the kind of runs he would like. We are backing him to do well this weekend."
Despite an ordinary run of form of late, T&T are sticking with their usual opening pair, which also includes Lendl Simmons. But yesterday T&T had not yet confirmed their entire batting order.
(Justin) Guillen is another batsman who has played well in the Super50 and we know what he can do as well, so there are a number of combinations we are playing with and trying to come up with the right one," Ramdin explained. "There is also a possibility that our other 'keeper Nicholas Pooran, who has had a good Super50 series, will play as a batsman.
T&T were a perfect six-for-six in the preliminaries, but were made to work for their victories. They beat Jamaica with two balls to spare thanks to some good lower-order batting by allrounder Yannick Ottley and Rayad Emrit. They were also tested against Barbados and Ramdin responded with a masterful 134 the highest score so far this season which pulled the innings around after an early clatter of wickets.
Ramdin described CCC as a "tough bunch" but said T&T are "ready for them", and is hoping for an improved batting performance.
The batting let us down in the last four-day game against the Barbadians, but the batsmen know where they went wrong, and to their credit they have been working hard at correcting this problem.
Still, the T&T skipper hinted that the result could be decided with the ball.
"Its a big game. Every semi-final is a big game. We have a very good team and we enjoy playing here at Kensington Oval; its a wonderful place for cricket. This pitch looks like a very good one. We are expecting a high-scoring match."