Dowlin looking to give it his all!

JOHANNESBURG -- West Indies batsman Travis Dowlin is ready and set for his first outing in a major international cricket tournament. The strongly-built right-hander is hoping to make some major contributions during the ICC Champions Trophy 09, which bowls off on Tuesday. The first match will be between host nation South Africa and Sri Lanka at Centurion, while the Windies will have their first test on Wednesday against Pakistan at The Wanderers in Johannesburg.

“Preparation for the game against the Pakistanis has been going well. I’ve been fine-tuning my game and looking ahead to the match. Because I will be batting in the middle order, I will be looking to rotate the singles and bat through the innings so the team can bat around me. That’s my mental focus at the moment,” the 32-year-old said on Monday, after the morning training session at the Wanderers.

Dowlin made a big impression during his debut series against Bangladesh in July. He made a Test-best score of 95 in just his third innings and made a brave 100 not out in his second ODI.

He is an experience player at first-class level, having played for Guyana for over a decade. He however acknowledged that condition in South Africa are different, but believe the team has made the adjustment after a 10-day camp at the North West Province High Performance Centre in Potchefstroom.

“It’s my first time in South Africa. We spoke to a couple of people who have played here before, like Vasbert Drakes, and they have given us with some ideas as to how the wickets are going to play. We’ve been here a while now, have experienced the conditions and have adjusted accordingly,” Dowlin said.

“It all boils down to my performance. I need to be consistent and make a contribution to the team every time I go out there and bat. We are focused in our minds what we have to do.”

West Indies are in Group A alongside Australia, India and Pakistan. All their tournament matches will be played at The Wanderers in Johannesburg. In the first round: vs Pakistan (September 23), vs Australia (September 26), vs India (September 30). Group B is made up of South Africa, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and England.