Trinidad and Tobago opened their Champions League Twenty20 campaign with a 25-run win over the Brisbane Heat but Ravi Rampaul says they will have to up their game to get past Sunrisers Hyderabad in their second match today at Mohali from 10:30 a.m. (TT Time).
The T&T pacer, who grabbed four for 16 to help T&T defend a below par score of 135, said that while his team are happy to get off to a winning start, the players know they are in for a tougher battle against the Sunrisers who also boast a formidable bowling attack led by South African pacer Dale Steyn and Indian fast bowler Ishant Sharma.
Speaking to the Express yesterday, Rampaul said the team took a lot of confidence from their 25-run win but will need to refocus for the impending clash.
“It feels good to get that first game out of the way with a win. It was a good all-round performance and the guys really put in a good effort. We wanted to start on a good note and we did that so the team is pumped and ready so we will take this win and refocus for the next game,” said Rampaul.
Although it was a comfortable victory in the end, the T&T pacer said the there are some areas the team will need to improve on.
He said: “We were off to a good start but in terms of the shot selection – we got some boundaries – but then we lost a few wickets so the shot selection probably was not that good and that is an area we will be looking to do better in for the next match.
“We wanted to get 150 or more but whatever we got we had to defend it and we did that so credit to the bowlers,” he added.
Sunil Narine also had a big role to play in the win. Brisbane were well set at 81 for three after 14 overs before Narine snatched two wickets in the 15th over to give T&T the upper hand.
Rampaul said that teamwork was the key to their success and he wants them to continue in that manner throughout the tournament.
“Basically we will continue to play to our strengths and play together, back each other and feed off of each other’s experience.”
He also noted that batsman Jason Mohammed celebrated his 27th birthday yesterday and that the team will be looking for a win to give the middle order batsman the perfect birthday gift today.
Asked about what kind impact Brian Lara has had with the team Rampaul said: “He is doing a lot for the guys.”
Lara travelled to India with the T&T team as the Ministry of Tourism’s Sport Ambassador and the batting genius said that he was willing to help the team in whatever way he can from the sidelines.
Of Lara’s involvement so far Rampaul said: “He has had a definite impact. He provides that extra boost to the team, encouraging everyone and we have been getting advice from him and it has been good for the team.
“He is giving the team the support we need,” Rampaul added.
In terms of what advice the batting star would have had for the West Indies pacer, Rampaul said Lara spoke with him about batting and gave him an insight about what a batsman would be thinking about in a given situation, which he says has helped him a lot.
T&T: Denesh Ramdin (Captain), Rayad Emrit, Jason Mohammed, Nicholas Pooran, Sunil Narine, Evin Lewis, Samuel Badree, Navin Stewart, Shannon Gabriel, Yannick Ottley, Adrian Barath, Sherwin Ganga, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul, Darren Bravo; David Williams (coach), Omar Khan (manager).
Sunrisers Hyderabad: Shikhar Dhawan (Captain), Parthiv Patel, Cameron White, JP Duminy, Dale Steyn, Biplap Samantray, Thisara Perera, Karan Sharma, Hanuman Vihari, Ashish Reddy, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Darren Sammy, Anand Rajan, Clint McKay.