2013 Champions League T20 team preview: Trinidad and Tobago

Blog by: Vignesh

Sunil Narine (file photo) celebrates after taking a wicket

Sunil Narine (file photo) celebrates after taking a wicket

Trinidad and Tobago is the most successful team in the West Indian T20 competition. They are set to play T20 cricket as Trinidad and Tobago for one last time in the 2013 Champions League T20. It’s because from next year, the team winning the Caribbean Premier League will make it to the CLT20.

It would have been more special for the T&T supporters if their star players Dwayne Bravo, Keiron Pollard and Kevon Cooper had chosen to turn up for their home team instead of their respective IPL franchises. Even without them Trinidad look strong and go into the tournament as favourites.

They had earned many fans across the globe with their spirit towards the game and their fighting tendency during the previous editions of CLT20. They stunned everyone when they reached the finals of 2009 CLT20.

This time they qualified for the CLT20 as the West Indian T20 Champions, the title they won defeating Jamaica in West Indies regional T20 tournament. Here is Trinidad’s team preview for the 2013 CLT20.

Squad:

Captain: Denesh Ramdin.

Coach:  Kelvin Williams.

Batsmen: Jason Mohammed, Evin Lewis, Navin Stewart, Yannick Ottley, Adrian Barath, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo.

Bowlers: Rayad Emrit, Sunil Narine, Samuel Badree, Shannon Gabriel, Sherwin Ganga, Ravi Rampaul.

Wicket Keeper: Denesh Ramdin, Nicolas Pooran.

Strengths:

  • Presence of some good spinners in their side.
  • Trinidad can defend a less total with less effort
  • Trinidad is a good fielding side.
  • Openers are experienced.
  • Solid middle order.
  • Ravi Rampaul can be lethal with the new ball.
  • Brian Lara assisting the players during the tournament.

Weakness:

  • Many players are new to Indian conditions.
  • Placed alongside teams like CSK, Titans means, Trinidad have to play out of the skins to reach the semis.
  • Lack of quality All Rounders.
  • Absence of their Big 3- Dwayne Bravo, Keiron Pollard and Kevon Cooper.

X-Factor:

Bowling has been Trinidad’s strength over the past few years. Followers of Trinidad in Caribbean T20 league and CLT20 over the last few years would be no strangers to this claim.

This is evident with their performance in 2011 CLT20 where they successfully defended 123 against mighty CSK’s batting line up and nearly pulled out another stunner (lost by one wicket with the stipulated overs extinguished for a target of 99) against Mumbai Indians.

This time, too, the Trinidadians rely heavily on their bowlers as their star batsmen will be representing their respective IPL franchises instead of their home team. Their bowling line up comprising Ravi Rampaul, Sunil Narine, Samuel Badree, Sherwin Ganga, Rayad Emrit and Shannon Gabriel can be deadly any day.

Rampaul and Badree will control the run flow in the Powerplay overs, with Sherwin and Narine taking care of the rest. The fifth bowler option will be a toss-up between Gabriel and Emrit as the Caribbean giants will look to go in with three spinners and two pacers, with Lendl Simmons providing the sixth bowling option.

Players to watch out for:

Trinidad and Tobago has been well known for producing some exciting talents to the gentleman’s game. Brian Lara, Ian Bishop, Dwayne Bravo, Keiron Pollard and Sunil Narine are the prime examples for this.

Now a seventeen-year-old wicket-keeper batsman is all set to join this list. Those who had followed the inaugural edition of Caribbean Premier League, Nicholas Pooran will be a familiar name.

In his debut against Guyana Amazon Warriors that had the likes of Narine, Mohammed Hafeez and Krishmar Santokie in their ranks, he smashed a 24-ball 54 with the help of six sixes and one four. In his overall T20 career, he has scored 9 sixes and just 3 fours with a batting average of 18 and strike rate of 148. He is also a wicket keeper and can be used as a backup for Trinidad skipper Denesh Ramdin. 2013 CLT20 can be a launching platform for Pooran in reaching greater heights like his teammate Pollard.

As far as the 2013 CLT20 is concerned, Trinidad’s strength is their bowlers. But one batsman who could make an impact is Lendl Simmons. Simmons was the second highest run-scorer in the Caribbean Premier League. He has been in terrific form since he was left out of the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy team and had a decent tri-series involving India, Sri Lanka and West Indies.

He along with Adrian Barath will look to get the Trinidad innings off to a good start. Simmons has been used playing in Indian conditions. He carries the burden of Trinidad’s batting in this edition’s CLT20.

Apart from his batting skills, he might be used as the sixth bowling option and is also an exceptional fielder. A good show in the tournament will earn him a regular spot in the West Indies team in the future.

Possible Playing XI: Adrian Barath, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, Jason Mohammed, Denesh Ramdin, Nicolas Pooran, Rayad Emrit, Sunil Narine, Samuel Badree, Sherwin Ganga, Ravi Rampaul.

Trnidad and Tobago Schedule:

Sunday 22 September v Heat in Ranchi

Tuesday 24 September v Qualifier in Mohali

Monday 30 September v Titans in Ahmedabad

Wednesday 02 October v Chennai in Mohali

Can Trinidad and Tobago make their people back home and fans across the world happy by winning the 2013 Champions League T20 for one final time?

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