Bermuda coach Niraj Odedra confident of success at regional T20 World Cup Qualifier
Niraj Odedra, the Bermuda head coach, is extremely confident the national team can live up to its lofty expectations at the ICC T20 World Cup Americas Sub-Regional Qualifiers in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Bermuda are among the firm favourites to win the competition — which has been reduced to five teams after Belize withdrew — and more importantly clinch one of the three available spots for the regional final, which will be hosted on island in September.
“I am with a team who are very much expected to win everything, so I hope we do the work processes right,” Odedra told The Royal Gazette.
“I am not really worried about the result because, as long as we do our processes right, I think there should be no problem.
“I think this team is the best we have come off island fitness-wise, skill-wise. “They are the best lads we have and I am pretty confident that they will see us through and make us proud.”
Odedra hopes to see his players reap reward for the hard work and dedication they have committed to the cause.
“I want to see this team do well because they have worked hard and they’re focused on the processes and I like the group,” he added. “They are having good fun and sticking together to each other and these are the things you want to see in a team.
“That’s the sort of culture you want to have and I am quite happy with the way things are.
“Most of the guys worked throughout the season doing the training or fitness and the skills they already had, so it’s just on the day how it’s going to come out.”
Bermuda will face Cayman Islands in their tournament opener at Hurlingham Club Ground today with Odedra to announce his squad just prior to the start.“I am going to have a look a the wicket we are playing on and according to that we’ll announce our eleven,” he said.
Bermuda encountered varying conditions in their two warm-up matches against an Argentina XI earlier this week.
“The first field we played on in Argentina was a little slower and next game they played the ball was coming onto the bat, so with a strong batting unit that will suit us anyway,” Odedra added.
Bermuda’s team is expected to undergo subtle changes from the one that won by a comfortable 107 runs against the host country in their second outing on Wednesday.
“There will be maybe one or two changes but we will look at the wicket and assess the condition,” Odedra said.
“The batting order is going to stay the same and mostly the bowling.”
Bermuda are heading into the tournament high on confidence having won their four warm-up matches that included two at the President Cup in Tampa, Florida, last week convincingly.
“They have been doing really well, actually, in the warm-ups,” Odedra added.
“They won their matches but I am going to tell them there might come a time when they also will be put under pressure.
“There always comes a time when they will be put under pressure and that’s when they need to make sure that the real character comes out.
“So even though they won every game and been very confident, there comes a time when you will also be put under pressure, so I want to see how they perform.”
While expectations are high for his team, Odedra is not taking any opponent lightly.
“No team is going to take anything for granted because you have to work hard for whatever,” he said.
“You cannot take things for granted in T20 cricket because it’s a shorter format and any batsmen or bowler on a day can perform well and that could be the match.
“For sure nobody is taking anything for granted.”
Odedra believes batting will hold the key to success for Bermuda who piled up an impressive 226 for four in their final warm-up match with captain Delray Rawlins (91) and fellow all-rounder Kamau Leverock (97) providing the bulk of the runs.
“T20 is mostly how well you bat, so we need to go all guns blazing,” he added.
“We need to go out and fire whatever we have and the batting needs to be the top priority.
“Looking at the group, looking at the sort of skills we have, we should do really well and I am really positive and confident about of us playing well.”
Bermuda are back in action again tomorrow against hosts Argentina at Belgrano Athletic Club Ground.
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