Trinidad and Tobago will be looking to put the Barbados batsmen under pressure when the two teams meet in the NAGICO Super50 tournament at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain from 2 p.m. today.
Both sides are filled with international stars and have been preparing for the tournament since last year but T&T skipper Dwayne Bravo feels his “all-round” team has the edge over the strong bowling attack the Barbadians will be bringing.
“We just have to play to our strengths and be positive in whatever it is we do and try to put the Bajans under some pressure,” said Bravo.
“We have a lot of respect for the Barbados team. They are one of the better teams in the region; there is no doubt about that.
“They have some international players and their bowling line-up is very strong,” Bravo explained.
Among the opposition bowlers are Sulieman Benn, Tino Best, Fidel Edwards, Jason Holder and Ashley Nurse with all-rounder Dwayne Smith also expected to lend his experience.
“They come into the game with five top bowlers. We know that their strength is their bowling and we also know that their batting is not as deep or as strong as their bowling so we will have to put pressure on their batting,” the T&T skipper pointed out.
Looking at his own team, Bravo said: “For T&T, our strength is that we are a good all-round team.”
T&T also have a lot of international players in the skipper and his younger brother Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Denesh Ramdin and Adrian Barath while exciting youngster Evin Lewis will be looking to bolster his reputation as a top order batsman.
“We bat fairly deep and we have a good bowling attack as well so I think it is going to be a very good game and the I think the team that cope better under pressure are going to win,” he added.
In terms of their bowling T&T will have pacers Ravi Rampaul, Shannon Gabriel, Kevon Cooper, Rayad Emrit and Dwayne Bravo to choose from while their spinner options include Sunil Narine, who will join the team for the second match, Yannick Ottley, Imran Khan and Jason Mohammed.
Barbados coach Henderson Springer was confident his players will be able to handle the pressure and beat the hosts and is banking on all his players to add value to the team.
“The experienced players will have to do most of the work but there are some other players who will have to do some work as well,” he said.
“All the players will have to add value to the team. We have a good mixture of players and we have to manifest all this experience in numbers, in wickets and runs, so it is just a matter of executing tactics.”
Springer added: “It is a big rivalry because you have probably two of the best combinations of players in the region. It will be a good examination for both teams.”
The sides are expected to play before the largest crowd of what has so far been a poorly attended series.
T&T: Dwayne Bravo (Captain), Adrian Barath, Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, Jason Mohammed, Denesh Ramdin (wicket-keeper), Rayad Emrit, Sunil Narine, Ravi Rampaul, Imran Khan, Yannick Ottley, Shannon Gabriel, Kevon Cooper; Kelvin Williams (coach).
BARBADOS: Kevin Stoute (Captain), Sulieman Benn, Tino Best, Rashidi Boucher, Carlos Brathwaite, Kraigg Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Shane Dowrich (wicket-keeper), Fidel Edwards, Kirk Edwards, Jason Holder, Ashley Nurse, Dwayne Smith, Kenroy Williams; Hendy Springer (coach).