Stunned Russell looks to Regional 4-day

Jamaica Observer article.

Kingston, Jamaica - All-rounder Andre Russell says Jamaica's players will have to put the disappointment of the Super50 tournament behind them and turn attention to the upcoming Regional Four-day competition.

The Jamaicans lost to hosts Trinidad & Tobago by seven wickets after a farcical batting display saw them being dismissed for a record low 49 in the semi-final.

In a recent interview, Russell, who is a regular member of the West Indies Twenty20 (T20) team, said he and others in the middle and lower order should have done better.

"Honestly. I don't know what happened in the Super50 semi-final. I'm lost for words...first I don't really know how to explain a cricket game. We made a plan, but we just never had the score on the board," he said, seemingly stunned by the manner of the defeat.

"We lost early wickets unfortunately... the guys who batted in the middle, including myself, should have put up a fight, but it didn't happen and that's why we collapsed like that," the 25-year-old told the Jamaica Observer.

Jamaica, winners of five straight four-day trophies until relinquishing the title to Barbados last year, meet Guyana at Sabina Park in the tournament opener on Friday.

Russell, selected in the 13-member squad for the encounter, said the focus is now on reclaiming the four-day crown.

"We are surprised [at how we lost in the Super50] and as professionals you don't want to accept that. It hurt, but at the same time you have to try get it off your mind as soon as possible. The four-day is coming up and we want to win that again," the all-rounder said.

The aggressive right-handed batsman, one of the stars of last year's inaugural Caribbean Premier League T20 tournament, said he made himself available for the longer format so that he can get more time to work on both his batting and bowling.

"That kind of cricket will give me the chance to spend time at the crease and work on my batting. Playing the longer version will help me to improve my cricket. Batting in a four-day game I won't be thinking about getting like 40 runs in 15 balls, I can actually build an innings. And in terms of bowling, I can relax some more and hit my areas," Russell argued.

First Published In The Jamaica Observer.

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 00:48