Trinidad and Tobago coach David Williams is happy with his team's preparations ahead of next week's Champions League Twenty20 in South Africa, and is looking forward to another good showing from his men.
Despite missing the likes of Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Sunil Narine, Williams still believes T&T can be a force to be reckoned with, especially with the preparation they have had and the good mix of experience and youth in the squad.
He said he is satisfied that his charges are well prepared for the competition ahead.
"We started three months ago and we had a fair amount of games. The guys are in really good nick and I am really happy with the condition of the guys at the moment," said Williams.
"God was kind to us. We had eight trial games and we had good weather throughout our preparations," he added.
T&T's build-up to the Champions League T20 climaxed last month with a three-match tour of Barbados. T&T won the series 2-1.
"We lost the final game after we got ourselves in a situation where we had to come from behind to try to win, and we almost did it. We won the first two matches convincingly, the third was another character-building match and the team showed they had character," said Williams.
T&T were also tested during the "Asia versus the Caribbean" series where they held their nerve to beat Bangladesh by four wickets.
In that match, at the Oval last month, T&T--without the likes of Pollard, Dwayne and Darren Bravo, Narine, Samuel Badree, Ravi Rampaul, Lendl Simmons and Denesh Ramdin--needed 125 from 20 overs to defeat Bangladesh.
The Caribbean T20 champions crumbled to 12 for five, but managed to save face with a brave comeback. Allrounders, Man-of-the-Match Yannick Ottley (52 not out) and Sherwin Ganga (40 not out) led T&T to victory with three balls to spare. Williams also described that win as "character-building stuff".
Ottley is one of two newcomers to the T&T T20 set up, the other being batsman Evin Lewis.
"The selectors have selected the team based on merit. These guys have done well in the trials and they have been doing well all season. They are in form and if given the opportunity, I am sure they will put up their hands and be counted...we are happy with those two," the coach added.
Williams said T&T also had a number of experienced players capable of doing the job for them in South Africa. He pointed to the bowling options--Kevon Cooper, Shannon Gabriel, Rampaul, Rayad Emrit, Navin Stewart, Ganga and Badree.
"We also have (in the batting department) Darren Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, William Perkins, Adrian Barath...so there is a wealth of experience in there and if we can blend that with the youngsters coming in, T&T will again be a force to be reckoned with," said Williams.
Looking ahead to South Africa, the coach is confident his players will find the conditions to their liking.
"We knew before hand that we would only have one practice match in South Africa. Yes, you would always like to play more practice matches but I think we have done well enough at this stage to get everything right. It is going to be a tough ask but we have guys who love lively, bouncy tracks. They love the ball coming on and I am sure their eyes are going to light up when they get a taste of the pitches. It should suit our play, but still we will have to wait and see how they play."
Williams said T&T had done their homework on their opponents, getting video footage of the players they are expecting to come up against.
"We have more or less covered those bases already. We are always a confident bunch. The guys are ready to go. We have had a good team spirit from the inception and it has grown from strength to strength. We can't wait to get in there."
The T&T squad will leave for South Africa tomorrow.
T&T Squad: Denesh Ramdin (capt), Samuel Badree, Adrian Barath, Darren Bravo, Kevon Cooper, Rayad Emrit, Shannon Gabriel, Sherwin Ganga, Jason Mohammad, Evin Lewis, Yannick Ottley, William Perkins, Ravi Rampaul, Lendl Simmons, Navin Stewart