Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 14th 2013 Contents A66
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Saturday, September 14, 2013
Looking at the T&T team heading to India
for the Karbonn Smart Champions League
T20 tournament, one has no choice but to
be optimistic of their chances in the tour-
This is the fourth attempt they are making
to lift the trophy and the closest they have
come to doing so was back in 2009---at their
first attempt when they lost to New South
Wales Blues in the final at the Rajiv Ghandi
International Stadium in Hyderabad.
Our team looks very good on paper with a
number of experienced T20 cricketers in the
ranks. T&T has been fortunate where Kolkata
Knight Riders has been unfortunate. The Red
Force has been able to acquire the services of
Sunil Narine, the mystery man, after Kolkata
failed to make it to the Champions League
this year. This is a big plus but we will still
miss the services of Keiron Pollard, the big
basher, and allrounder Dwayne Bravo.
Pollard will line up with the Mumbai Indians,
while Bravo plays with the Chennai Super
Kings. It leads to think that with "Polly" not
being available, our team needs that X Factor
and we have to find a man to be just that.
In T20 cricket, you need the X Factor
because luck plays a big part and when you
have a man who can turn around a game for
you at the blink of an eye, you win matches.
Pollard has done that time and time again for
the Red Force. Now looking at the team the
man who could most likely be that X Factor
is the little known wicketkeeper batsman
The left-hander plays with freedom. He
has no respect for any bowler and can turn
around a game for you in no time. Just look
at the punishment he meted out to Narine in
the opening match for the Red Steel against
Guyana Amazon Warriors in Guyana in the
Caribbean Premier League (CPL).
He is not well known to the other clubs
and being unknown, helps in being an X Factor.
Where he can stand up to the test of world
class bowling is another aspect but the Red
Force will surely need him. Looking back at
our first campaign in the Champions League
in 2009, there were times when T&T looked
down and out and Pollard came with the long
handle to change all that.
The strength of the bowling department
may lead the fans thinking that the batting
is weak. However, I do not share that view
because in Lendl Simmons, we have one of
the best T20 batsmen in the game today. He
understands his role at the top of the order
and can switch gears and control the game as
he sees fit.
Adrian Barath is coming along nicely and
rebuilding his game. These days he is more
in the runs than not. Evin Lewis is showing
that he can bat and is consistent. He has played
some very good innings this season and I have
seen him bat over the past few weeks---he is
a top form.
Darren Bravo is a special talent and while
one may want him to be more consistent, he
is a dangerous player coming in at three. Good
to see Jason Mohammed back in form. His 54
off just 25 balls was brutal and he seems to
be peaking at the right time for the Red Force.
Ramdin is also in form and we have a number
of allrounders who can contribute with the
willow once called upon. Narine, Navin Stewart
and Rayad Emrit coming in at the end of the
innings is more than capable of throwing that
white ball over the ropes.
The bowling in my view is very good with
four men who can make any of the team that
is on show in this Champions League. Ravi
Rampaul was excellent for the Royal Chal-
lengers in the Champions League and is fit
again and ready to show his worth in conditions
Emrit is the most improved cricketer in the
region. After an excellent CPL for the Barbados
Tridents, he continues to take wickets and
had 13 wickets in four matches against Guyana
and the Windwards, respectively. Add West
Indies leg-spinner Samuel Badree to that mix
and top that off with the leader of the attack
Narine and any captain will be smiling.
This Champions League which is the last
for T&T can end up being the best. However,
that X Factor needs to arrive and arrive fast.
Can Pooran be the X-factor for Red Force?
Nicholas Pooran of T&T Red
Steel sweeps for four during
the match between Guyana
Amazon Warriors and T&T
Red Steel as part of
Caribbean Cricket Premier
League at Providence
stadium on July 31 in
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