Chanderpaul is back!
Johnson should return for next game in Barbados
By Sean Devers
Chairman of the Guyana senior cricket selection panel Rayon Griffith disclosed that experienced Test batsman Shivnarine Chanderpaul, who has played more Tests for the West Indies than any other player, will be back in Guyana’s line-up for tomorrow’s third round game at the Guyana National Stadium against the Windward Islands.
The 35-year-old Griffith, who captured 56 wickets from 22 First-Class matches for Guyana, told Kaieteur Sport yesterday that original Captain Leon Johnson, who was ruled out from Guyana’s first three matches due to a knee injury, will be back for the fourth round match against CCC in Barbados.
However, former Test batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan who has not played for Guyana since the Regional Super50 in Trinidad & Tobago due to illness, was forced to pull out of the opening round four-day game in Jamaica because of a back injury, has to submit a medical report to the Guyana Cricket Board (GCB) and could miss most, if not all of the matches in the 2014 Four-Day tournament.
Chanderpaul, the second highest West Indian run-scorer in Tests behind Brian Lara, who was also forced out of the first two games due to a thumb injury replaces Chanderpaul Hemraj in the only change to the squad.
According to Griffith, promising Essequibian fast bowler Ronsford Beaton who suffered a side strain while batting in Jamaica and missed the last match against Barbados, should be fit for the next overseas day/Night match from March 21 in Barbados.
In the absence of Sarwan and Johnson, Narsingh Deonarine, who made a double duck in Guyana’s embarrassing defeat to Barbados in their last match, has been playing at this level since 1999 and with Nine First-Class tons to his name, joins 39-year-old Chanderpaul as the two most successful batsmen for Guyana.
Although Assad Fudadin and Vishal Singh batted resolutely in the second innings in Jamaica when Guyana reached 264, Guyana’s woeful batting in the first innings of both of their games has resulted in them entering tomorrow’s game against the Islanders at the bottom of the points table.
In the first game Guyana just managed 117 while in the second match they lost all 10 of their wickets for 48 runs to collapse from 92-0. This is the aspect of Guyana’s cricket this year that’s causing the most worry for the Guyana camp and Griffith is hoping that Chanderpaul’s return should bring better batting results for the local team.
“Chanderpaul’s return should lift the batting, especially in terms of temperament and shot selection since I am very disappointed with the way we have batted in the first innings of both games even when we had a 92-run stand for the first wicket in our last match but we still could not reach 150,” Griffith lamented.
“We have basically had to play catch up cricket and so far we have not got a single batting point which is only available in the first innings. I am worried about the impact t20 cricket is having on the mentally of our young players” Griffith stated.
“Our bowlers have done a reasonable job for us but batsmen continue to get themselves out with rash shots and I am sure that now Shiv is back the mental side of our batting should improve” Griffith concluded.
Apart from Fudadin, Singh and Tagenarine Chanderpaul none of the other batsmen have batted for any significant length of time in this series and this has contributed to Guyana’s poor performances so far.
The Guyanese had a practice session yesterday at the National Stadium where they also did some running and played a game of football. Griffith said that team spirit is still high despite the results. He added that the bringing forward of the match by a day due to the Holiday on Monday takes away some of the recovery time for the players.