Joseph dropped as Leewards head to Trinidad
Antigua Observer article.
ST JOHN’S, Antigua – Young Antiguan fast bowler Alzarri Joseph is one of two players dropped ahead of the Leeward Islands’ round three clash against Trinidad & Tobago in the WICB Four-Day competition slated to commence Friday at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad.
Joseph was replaced by a fellow Antiguan, spinner Justin Athanaze, and Anguillan batsman Lyndell Richardson replaced countryman Montcin Hodge.
Coach and chief selector for the Leeward Islands team, Ridley Jacobs, explained the rationale behind excluding the young Joseph.
“We have three fast bowlers. The other two have been very consistent and we needed an extra spinner for Trinidad. So we opted to bring in a spinner and leave Alzarri out. So it’s not a drop, but it’s just that we need three spinners in Trinidad and I think that’s the best option in Trinidad,” the former West Indies wicketkeeper said.
“To be honest, I am pretty impressed because he has been bowling pretty well in the nets but as I said before we needed three spinners in Trinidad because we know normally the pitches in Trinidad turn a bit and he can come back into the team for the next game, it is a possibility.”
Questioned about low-key performances by veteran batsman Sylvester “Bouncing” Joseph who has posted scores of 39, 10, five and eight in his four innings thus far, Jacobs anticipates he will improve.
“We all go through that patch at times so we just hope he can get it right in this game. I honestly think that Sylvester knows he hasn’t been giving us any runs but it’s up to him now to really put some runs on the board and it would be very important for the team and for himself as well,” he said.
Jacobs added that the focus remains on dominating the match against a favoured Trinidad and Tobago squad.
“It’s difficult early in the innings when you start batting, but once you get in, it gets a lot easier,” the coach said.
“So I am trying to instill in my players that you have to try and get a start. We have to occupy the crease and once we get a start it becomes much easier and we have to try and bowl the ball in the right areas and be more consistent. We have to jell as a team if we want to be successful because our aim is to win this game.”
The rest of the squad includes Kieran Powell (captain), Devon “Booby” Thomas, Jahmar Hamilton, Anthony “I-Roots” Martin, Mali Richards, Akeem Saunders, Gavin Tonge, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kelbert Walters and Tonito Willett.