Hard work will be key to Bermudas success
There are 17 days to go before we begin our quest to win the Division 3 World Cricket League Tournament held here in Bermuda.
As the team has not yet been announced I want to take a look at the players we have to choose from and what I think our final selection could be and, in addition, highlight our strengths and weaknesses and what its going to take for us to be successful in this tournament.
Here is the list of players that the Bermuda team will be selected from: Stephen Outerbridge, Rodney Trott, David Hemp, Dion Stovell, Jacobi Robinson, Jason Anderson, Sammy Robinson, Dennico Hollis, Janeiro Tucker, Fiqre Crockwell, Lionel Cann, Treadwell Gibbons, Tre Manders, Delray Rawlins, Greg Maybury, Malachi Jones, and Jekon Edness.
From this list a final 14 will be selected through the likes of the coaching staff, captain, and the selectors. In my opinion, of the 17 players above Dennico Hollis and Fiqre Crockwell are probably the least likely to receive the call of making the final squad, leaving only 15 players to choose from. Who else will be disappointed?
There were four pertinent questions that I asked myself before making my selection.
Are two wicketkeepers a necessity for such a short tournament? Not really, Jason Anderson is my first choice keeper for this format, but Jekons quality will assure him a place in the team. Do we need four off-spinners, or should one be left out? No I dont think we need four off-spinners even though they all bring a different quality. Is young Delray Rawlins ready for a tournament of this magnitude? Yes, he is good enough and he offers variation in the bowling. If Treadwell was in their plans why was he not taken to Florida? I dont know the answer to that question, but his confidence in the batting department would be an asset in any team.
After pondering those questions, I believe the final debate will be between Sammy and Jacobi, the two part-time spinners.
Both have a lot to offer the team. Both bowl off-spin, but have different batting styles. Sammy likes to work the ball in the gaps and run hard between the wickets, while Jacobi is a blaster and can score quick runs towards the tail end of the innings. Both have safe hands, but Sammy is probably the better fielder in that he is quicker and sharper. On the other hand, Jacobi is a fighter, and rises to the occasion when our backs are against the wall, he never turns down a challenge.
Will it come down to leaving one of these two out or could they leave a wicket-keeper out and take as much bowling as possible. We are all eager to see what players will be playing for team Bermuda.
The final team has already selected, but will not be announced until next week. So here is my final 14: Stephen Outerbridge, Rodney Trott, David Hemp, Dion Stovell, Jason Anderson, Jacobi Robinson, Janeiro Tucker, Lionel Cann, Treadwell Gibbons, Tre Manders, Delray Rawlins, Greg Maybury, Malachi Jones, and Jekon Edness.
Its no doubt Bermudas strength lies in our batting. We have batting depth, but someone has to take responsibility to bat through the innings and post a big total. My main concern with our batting is that we put too much emphasis on Hemp, Janeiro and Stephen to score big runs. We will need other players to come good and take some of the pressure off of them. Our bowling will seriously be tested. The fact that we only have one real pace bowler with Malachi could come back to haunt us. Malachi has to be monitored and used wisely because his presence is needed and required for the duration of this tour.
For Bermuda to be successful the coaching staff will have to do their homework. They must scout each team and come up with a game plan that they can execute. Tactics will be the key. For example, should young Greg Maybury be selected to play down at St Davids as the ball has a history of swinging all over the place, which suits his style of bowling?
On the other hand, should he be rested and take the extra spinner for the two games at the National Sports Centre where the ball turns square? That is just one small example of selection based on game plan, and the coaching staff and Steven will be challenged on many fronts tactically.
The batting order will also be crucial to our success, and each player must know their role based on the circumstances of the game. Each player must be willing to sacrifice personal goals for team goals when batting. There is no room to error tactically, and if something goes wrong a new tactic has to quickly come into play. Fortunately, we have enough experience in the coaching department and on the field to come up with the right formula in numerous scenarios. However it is imperative that the players believe in the tactics too and execute the game plan.
Success will come down to the players mentality. If they get stuck in this league cricket amateurish mentality they will struggle and get exposed badly. However, if they listen and collectively buy into the tactics and play for the team they can achieve success.
At the end of the day whatever team Bermuda selects I want them to read the quote from which Devonshire Cougars Triple Crown coach Dennis Brown built his team success, Hard work beats talent, when talent doesnt work hard. So for the next two weeks the Bermuda national cricket team you know what you have to do: WORK HARD.
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