– coach says home advantage could make a decisive difference
The Guyana team participated in a football game during Tuesday’s training session at the National Stadium, Providence (Rajiv Bisnauth photo)
By Rajiv Bisnauth
Host Guyana will be looking to change their fortunes when they take on the Combined Campuses and Colleges in their penultimate regional four-day clash from Saturday at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
The Guyanese after participating in four rounds each in both the four-day and Super50 tournaments, has chalked up just one victory and is virtually out of the title hunt in both versions.
In the four-day competition, they are at the bottom of the table with a mere six points, including three defeats and a draw, while they are in the penultimate spot in the Super50- just above of the Leeward Islands with four points from three losses and a win.
However, Coach Esaun Crandon is backing his charges to finish both tournaments on a high.
In an invited comment on Wednesday at the conclusion of the teams’ training session at the stadium, Crandon said he is confident that his team can make the most of the home advantage and finish the tournaments with some positive results.
“I am convinced home advantage could make a decisive difference, but at the same time we cannot afford to be too complacent. We are confident that we can win against CCC, but we must give them due respect because they have been playing well throughout the competition,” said Crandon.
He added, “I think we have to play better cricket than them over the four days in order for us to win,” Crandon said. “I think we need to execute our game plan well, and once we can do that, then we should be able to put them under pressure. Our batting will be very important because once we can bat for at least four sessions, then we should get a good total on the board. We have always done well in our bowling but throughout the tournaments it’s is our batting which has let us down.”
The team will be without regular wicketkeeper, Derwin Christian, who was axed from the squad for the remainder of the tournaments.
Christian, despite having the most dismissals by any wicketkeeper in the competitions, had a poor showing with the bat.
He averages 10.33 from four Super50 games scoring just 31 runs. His four-day average is 15.50 with 124 runs coming from the same amount of games.
He was replaced by 22-year-old Berbician Anthony Bramble who will make his first-class debut. Bramble represented Guyana in three List A games with his last being three years ago against the Leeward Islands.
Also recalled is opening batsman Rajendra Chandrika. The right handed Chandrika was dropped after three games each in the both tournaments due to poor batting form.
Meanwhile, the batting lineup will be boosted by the presence of the West Indies trio, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Narsingh Deonarine.
The team will be without all-rounder, Christopher Barnwell who will be leaving for India to begin his Indian Premier League stint with Royal Challengers Bangalore. Also absent from the four-day squad is young Tagenarine Chanderpaul who has joined the West Indies Under-19 World Cup preparatory camp.
Assad Fudadin will be partnering Chandrika at the top. Fudadin was not selected for the Super50 games. Opener Trevon Griffith was not selected for the four-day version but will join Chandrika at the top for the Super50 games.
The Guyana/CCC Super50 game is scheduled for April 4. The Guyana team will then play their Super50 game against Jamaica on April 7, while the four-day game will start two days later.
The Super50 matches will be day/night fixtures and will start from 14:00h. The four-day matches will start at 10:00h daily. Admission to the four-day matches is free while $500 is the cost to enter the Super50 matches.
It is the first time in two seasons that Guyana will play home games after playing away for all their games in the 2012 season and in the first half of the current season.
Four-day squad: Rajendra Chandrika, Assad Fudadin, Leon Johnson, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Narsingh Deonarine, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Anthony Bramble, Veerasammy Permaul, Devendra Bishoo, Ronsford Beaton, Paul Wintz, Steven Jacobs, and Zaheer Mohamed.
Super50 squad: Trevon Griffith, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Leon Johnson, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Narsingh Deonarine, Anthony Bramble, Steven Jacobs, Devendra Bishoo, Veerasammy Permaul, Ronsford Beaton, Paul Wintz, Rajiv Ivan, and Zaheer Mohamed.