Ramdin welcomes new selections
PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD - Denesh Ramdin, captain of the Trinidad and Tobago cricket team, is excited over the selection of debutant 17-year-old Hillview College and Queen’s Park left-handed opener Jeremy Solozano on the national squad for their Regional Four-Day Tournament semi-final away to Jamaica.
The game is slated to take place at Sabina Park, Kingston, from May 2-5.
The national selection panel, on Tuesday, revealed the 13-member squad with Solozano and West Indies Under-19 wicketkeeper Steven Katwaroo replacing out-of-form opener Adrian Barath and left-arm spinner Kavesh Kantasingh, from the team who were humiliated by nine wickets, in two days, against Barbados at the Queen’s Park Oval (April 10-11).
“I believe we needed to make some changes,” said Ramdin in an interview yesterday. “Some of the guys (were) not making use of the opportunity. We (were) not getting the results that we wanted.”
The TT captain continued, “I believe that the younger players who haven’t gotten the opportunity in the past (are getting it now). We have a new batsman in (Jeremy) Solozano who has been doing well at the Under-19 level, who has the ability to step up at this level. Hopefully, come next week he’ll put the runs on the board for Trinidad and Tobago.”
Asked if Solozano may be overawed against the hosts or if he can cope with the pressure of making his First-Class debut in the Four Day semi, Ramdin replied, “so far, from what we have seen, he has the mental strength and the capability to play long innings.
“I don’t think he would study too much of the names he’ll be going up against,” the 28-year-old continued. “He’ll just do the job for Trinidad and Tobago. He’s a young batsman, he’s keen and so far he’ll relish the chance to play.”
Katwaroo made his First Class entry this season, when Ramdin was away on West Indies duties. Questioned who will be donning the gloves, Ramdin stressed, “he’ll play as a specialist batsman. I’ll be doing the duties behind the stumps. He may be (batting) up the order if anything.”
After the two-day embarrassment at home to Barbados, the national team were trounced by 140 runs by the Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC) last Thursday in the semi-final phase of the Regional Super50 Tournament, at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.
“I believe it was a bit of complacency,” Ramdin admitted. “We (thought) we could have walked past the CCC guys. They played better than us on the day.
“We knew that they always have one good game on their sleeves. They had it against us Trinidad and Tobago, which was unfortunate (for us) in a semi-final. We got knocked out and this is something in the future we shouldn’t take for granted.”
Referring to the omission of Barath, Justin Guillen and Kantasingh, Ramdin emphasised, “they have to work and come hard again. If the younger guys step up and do well, it will be very difficult for them to get back into the team.”
Looking at the training plans for the TT team, Ramdin said, “we’ll have a couple training sessions. The guys will go off on the weekend to play for their respective clubs.
“Once the batters can go and bat some periods in the middle and (make) some runs, I’m sure it will augur well for us for Jamaica with probably six or seven batsmen with runs to their name.”
West Indies left-handed middle order batsman Darren Bravo was again overlooked following a minor eye operation.
Ramdin noted, “he’s not fit. His doctor said he needs more time to recover.”
TT squad: Jeremy Solozano, Lendl Simmons, Steven Katwaroo, Jason Mohammed, Akeal Hosein, Denesh Ramdin, Imran Khan, Rayad Emrit, Amit Jaggernauth, Yannic Cariah, Shannon Gabriel, Marlon Richards and Kjor.