Jan 13, 2015 Sports
By Sean Devers
Head Coach of the Guyana Jaguars, Esuan Crandon, feels that some fans may identify the Jaguars as favorites, but said the Jaguars have got to back themselves if the team wants to win the 2015 NAGICO Super50 cricket Tournament scheduled for Trinidad & Tobago from Thursday.
Guyana has not won a Regional 50-over title since 2005 and play their opening game against the Windward Islands Volcanoes at the Queens Park Oval in a Day/Night affair starting at 13:30hrs.
“Some of the other teams around the region are very strong but we are optimistic about our chances. We are missing a few key players from our middle order – Leon Johnson, Narsingh Deonarine, Assad Fudadin and Ramnaresh Sarwan. They are all capable of winning matches for us. We have a bit of a hole in the middle order, but there are a few young players that we have brought in to replace them. They have been around for a bit, but they have not played many matches at this level. We know they are capable of doing a good job for us,” the former Guyana pacer opined.
At the end of four rounds in the WICB Four-Day format, the Jaguars lead with 57 points but the 33-year-old Crandon, who played 38 First-Class and 28 fifty-over games for Guyana, admits that limited overs cricket is more unpredictable than the longer version.
“We know it has been a long time since we have not won the title and it has been very disappointing the way we have been playing in recent times with the talent and combination of our team. We found a formula for winning towards the end of last year in the Four-Day tournament and we are happy with the work we have done to prepare for this tournament, so we want to continue in that vein. This however, is a different version of the game and it can go either way,” Crandon said.
The Jaguars Coach, who has as its assistant Coach, another former Guyana quickie in Rayon Griffith, says the team has indentified specific areas they need to work on.
“We were confident and felt we could win last year. We felt we had a strong team on paper, but we needed to perform. We did pretty well in the preliminary matches and reached the semi-finals, but the eventual champions Barbados got the better of us. We aren’t going to make any excuses, but for us to be successful we have to rotate the strike better when we are batting, particularly since we will be without a number of key players, and our bowling “at the death” is something we are also monitoring closely,” the Berbician added.
“We will need bowlers to be clear in their minds about what they have to execute and not be confused.”
“Regaining focus following the holiday break was a bit challenging for us. We asked the players to continue working on their own and tried to get coaches around the country to work with them. We tried to put things in place during that period,” disclosed Crandon, the elder brother of Royston Crandon.
He feels that these guys must understand that they are now being paid as professionals and there are certain expectations.
“It has been evident that they followed this advice when they returned from the break. We did an assessment and the results showed improvements and so things have been going pretty well so far. We have a pretty good staff and we have put in a lot of specific work. We have tried to make full use of whatever time and resources were available to us and so far it is going well,” Crandon said after two practice matches were played, the last one under lights at Providence.
Forty-year old veteran Shivnarine Chanderpaul has played 84 regional One-Day games for Guyana and has 11 centuries from 268 ODIs in which he averages 41.60 but no other player in the Jaguars squad has played more that Royston Crandon’s 24.
“Obviously, Chanderpaul is the most experienced guy in the group and will lead the batting, along with our captain Christopher Barnwell. Our openers – Trevon Griffith did well in the 50-over version last year and Rajendra Chandrika had a few good performances in the Four-Day at the end of last year,” said Crandon who has 90 First-Class wickets and 29 at List ‘A’ level.
The South American based team’s bowling will be spearheaded by the genuinely quick West Indies ‘A’ team pacer Ronsford Beaton with medium pace support from Barbadian left-armer Raymond Reifer, Captain Chris Barnwell and Paul Wintz, while Devendra Bishoo, Veerasammy Permaul and Steven Jacobs are expected to provide spin support.
“Ronsford Beaton will spearhead our bowling and Raymond Reifer is a good all-rounder and we will be depending a lot on him in this version of the game. I think he has a lot to offer in this version of the game. And we also expect the spin twins, Veerasammy Permaul and Devendra Bishoo to make an impact. If I want, I could call every player’s name because I believe they are all capable of performing at any given time,” Crandon concluded
The Jaguars depart for Trinidad at 09:55hrs this morning and are confident of clinching their 10th Regional 50-over title.
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