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Davis lays blame on TT selectors

Monday, October 28 2013

FORMER TRINIDAD and Tobago and West Indies opening batsman Bryan Davis is laying the blame on the national team’s exit in the semi-final phase of the T20 Champions League squarely on the hands on the TT selection panel.

In his latest column on the Catholic News, Davis argued with an interview reportedly given by coach David Williams who was satisfied by the team’s effort.

“Now how could it be possible to be satisfied when losing the final opportunity to win the most prestigious club tournament in the world, the Champions League T20,” said Davis.

Mumbai Indians defeated Trinidad and Tobago (dubbed “the Red Force”) by six wickets and Davis described it as “a convincing defeat: signed, sealed and delivered!”

He continued, “don’t let anyone say that it went to the last over! In this type of cricket contest, a 20-overs affair, if the batting team is cruising to victory, there is no need to finish the game off and risk losing wickets and allow the opposition to sneak back in.”

Davis agreed that the loss of pacer Rayad Emrit, due to a right shoulder injury, was crucial “but not one big enough to defend a total on that pitch of 153 for five.”

He wrote, “Denesh Ramdin, the skipper, did an excellent job throughout with his bowling changes and his field placing. It would have been a tough decision at the time as to whether at the completion of Sunil Narine’s second over he should have been allowed to continue to bowl out his spell or save his last two overs for later in the game. Ramdin took the second choice.”

About the team itself, Davis noted, “the tour selectors are on the spot and I have a lot of respect for their undertaking, as choosing a winning team is not an easy thing and needs deep analysis and constant probing. Having said that, they must have the courage of their convictions and it seems to me that conviction was absent.

“The cupboard was bare in India; the chosen team exposed the selectors’ lack of imagination and knowledge. So that when Lendl Simmons batted at the top of the order from game one and failed in his first two games, not even getting off the mark, consideration had to be given to saving him from himself. Nonetheless, they persisted, and he did well in the third; yet in the semi-final, he again seemed out of sorts and failed to score, getting out to an ill-advised stroke.”

Focusing on the batting, the former Glamorgan right-handed batsman commented, “with Jason Mohammed not coming to terms with his game and he and (Nicholas) Pooran supposedly the stabilisers in the middle order, someone like Simmons should have been moved there.

He would not then have been tempted to try rash shots like at the start of the innings since the field would have contained more boundary fielders, the ball would have been a bit older and he would have had every chance to properly evaluate his game and the team’s needs.”

Navin Stewart was recalled to the team after a few years in the wilderness and Davis described him as “a hard trier but in a situation beyond his capabilities.

“On Indian pitches his medium-pace bowling is non-penetrable plus it’s not steady enough to be effective. His slogging style of batsmanship is hardly successful where stroke-play is necessary. I have observed after some years of studying t20 cricket that the stroke-players are the successful ones, even though they attempt an ambitious swing now and then.”

He added, “Sherwin Ganga was never given a second chance after his flop in the first game while others benefited, but he should not have been replaced by Stewart at the time. A coach is supposed to build a player’s confidence but there was little evidence of that happening with Ganga or Pooran.

Davis ended, “TT ought to have opened with Adrian Barath, placed Simmons in the middle order for Pooran, and included Ganga for Stewart. That team would have had a better chance, in my opinion!”

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