By Clifton Ross
Coach of the Guyana national cricket team which recently returned home after participating in the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) Regional Four Day and One-Day tournaments Esaun Crandon said it is his opinion that the team did not put its best foot forward.
The team has so far played a total of eight matches in both formats winning only one the opening Super50 encounter against the Leewards which they won by five wickets.
The subsequently lost their remaining Supper50 matches to Barbados by five wickets, the Windward Islands by seven wickets and Trinidad and Tobago, a day/night encounter by two wickets.
In the four-day competition they drew their opening match against the Leeward Islands and then lost to Barbados by 93 runs, the Windward’s by four wickets and Trinidad and Tobago by 45 runs.
As a result the Guyana team is at the bottom of the four-day points table with six points and second to last (sixth) with four points in the Super50 points’ standings.
Giving an overview of the team’s performance Crandon said the team did not show the maturity and discipline which they acknowledged to have been an essential part of their preparations.
He said that the discipline of the players was not at its best especially when it came to executing plans that would have been discussed during team meetings and training sessions.
The result of such indiscipline, he said, was irresponsible shot selection and all round poor displays.
He also said that the players seemed to lack enthusiasm at times when they needed to be extremely positive in their approach to the matches.
He said that his team’s current position in the tournament was a result of the batsmen failing to occupy the crease for longer periods which would have enabled them to convert their starts into big scores. He said that players who got starts threw their wickets away at crucial stages of the matches and blames a lack of mental toughness for that.
The bowlers, he said, needed to be more consistent with their line and length and stressed that innovative bowling was a crucial part of taking wickets in the longer version of the game.
The coach said that he pleased with the team’s ground fielding but said that the team needed to improve heavily on its catching pointing out that that too many catches were put down during the tournament which resulted in the game shifting towards the opposition.
Nevertheless, Crandon says he has great faith in his team for the remainder of the tournament.
He said it was essential that the players build partnerships and convert their starts into big scores which would lead to bigger first innings totals in the longer format of the game.
He also said that the senior players needed to step up and show more responsibility.
The national team will not be in action when play resumes this week and when they do go into action they will be without all rounder Chris Barnwell who will be heading for his first stint in the Indian Premier League.
Crandon said that Barnwell will be missed in the middle order and while his replacement has not yet been named a few players are in contention for possible spots on the team including the three reserve wicketkeepers, Anthony Bramble, Delbert Hicks and Jason Sinclair along with Vishal Singh, Royston Crandon, Andre Stoll, Brandon Bess, Keon Joseph, Rajendra Chandrika, Sewnarine Chattergoon and Chanderpaul Hemraj.
Crandon said that going forward the team is looking to regroup and plan for their upcoming matches.
He said that the players are very confident and are looking to improve in all departments and said that playing in familiar home conditions will hopefully prove to be advantageous as the team strives for a better finish to the tournament. Guyana first match upon resumption is a four-day fixture against the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) team under lights at the Guyana National Stadium from March 30-April 2.