Guyana Jaguars Skipper Leon Johnson has expressed satisfaction with the team given to him to halt Guyana’s more than decade-long run without a championship in the regional one-day format.
The South Americans departed Guyana at the Eugene F. Correia International Airport, Ogle for the 2018 edition of the tournament in the wee hours of yesterday morning where Johnson, in an invited comment to Stabroek Sport, had his say. “Yeah, I’m satisfied with the team and I think we’ve put together close to our best team,” the Skipper remarked.
One exciting factor, when assessing the composition of the team this year, leans on the inclusion of young all-rounders Sherfane Rutherford, Keemo Paul and Ricardo Adams. The trio along with 21 – year-old West Indies opener, Shimron Hetymer, are expected to wield their willows effectively, presenting the four-day champions with an explosive package of big hitting and tidy death bowling. Those features were largely absent in the Jaguars’ squad of the past.
Beaming with optimism, not only from expectation from what he recently witnessed during Jaguars’ practice match where Hetymer struck a belligerent century while Anthony Bramble, Rutherford and Paul had hammered a Rest XI to reach 386 – 8, Johnson appeared anxious to unleash his young and explosive counterparts.
“We would have seen what they can do in the practice games where Sherfane [Rutherford] and Keemo [Paul] batted seven and eight behind Anthony Bramble, in the practice games and mainly we’ll look to utilize them in those roles to finish off an innings once the top order would have done well.
“They coming in at the bottom gives us a lot of firepower, so they’ll definitely be used in those roles,” the Skipper told Stabroek Sport, touching on the prospects of the trio firing and being the tournament’s surprise bundle.
The left-hander, on a personal note, signalled his intention of bettering the numbers he posted during the last 50 over season where he finished atop the Jaguars’ batting chart after scoring 253 runs from eight outings, disappointingly without a century.
“I wouldn’t say I had an excellent series last time out but it was decent, the numbers were decent and I’m definitely looking to better that and I’m aiming to get a century or a few and just to capitalizing on the good starts. I had a few 70s-last year so it’s all about capitalizing and carrying on,” the 30–year-old emphasized.
The tournament begins Tuesday with Jaguars opening their campaign against English County Side Kent a day later at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, North Sound, Antigua.