Denesh Ramdin is back at the helm of the Trinidad and Tobago team and wants to lead by example when they tackle the Windward Islands in the Regional Four-Day Championships semifinals starting tomorrow at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain.
The West Indies wicketkeeper/batsman believes that with the players he has at his disposal, T&T can go all the way to the final but said the experienced guys will have to set an example and prove their worth, especially after the younger players stepped up to help the team reach the last four.
“Credit to Rayad Emrit, he went out there and led the team from the front. He scored a century and we had guys like Kieron Pollard come in and score a century as well. T&T were never really at full strength with a lot of guys on tour (with the West Indies in the ICC World T20) but the other guys did well to put us in the semi-final,” said Ramdin.
All-rounder Akeal Hosein, wicketkeeper Steven Katwaroo, opening batsman Evin Lewis and left-arm spinner Ricky Jaipaul were among the youngsters who came good at different times to help the team qualify as the second placed side after the round robin stage.
Hosein stepped up with 11 wickets in the first game of the season and followed up with a century in the second match before a thigh strain kept him out for the next four.
Katwaroo did a good job in the absence of Ramdin, with a total of 14 dismissals (13 catches and one stumping) as well as a high-score of 91 in the game against the Leewards. Lewis was consistent with four half centuries, while Jaipaul grabbed four wickets in his debut match to set up a win against the Combined Campuses and Colleges.
“I think the guys we have here are capable but I think with the experience of myself, Darren Bravo and (Lendl) Simmons, we need to carry the younger players through this weekend and show what we are made of,” the T&T skipper explained.
“The (younger) players have been coming in nicely. With the experience we have and the younger players doing well, I think we are in good stead for this weekend,” he added.
Looking ahead to the clash against the Windwards, Ramdin said: “The guys have been playing good cricket so far this season and there is still one title up for grabs and we will need to put on a good performance to get past the Windwards.
“They (the Windwards) are a consistent team and very patient in terms of waiting for you to make a mistake so hopefully our top four guys can get some runs.
“Darren Bravo has been batting well. Jason Mohammed scored a double century and Akeal Hosein scored his first century this year and he is back in the team. Lewis has been doing well at the top of the order and Lendl Simmons and myself will bring some experience so hopefully we can go out there and give a good showing this weekend,” the T&T skipper added.
Another new player was added to the team yesterday in off-spinner Ansil Bhagan who comes in after veteran off-spinner Amit Jaggernauth announced his retirement from first-class cricket yesterday.