Coach Crandon: Performing under pressure key to winning Super50
By Akeem Greene
Guyana Jaguars’ quest for a Regional 50-over title will resume next month when they head off to Antigua for the Super50.
Since that famous win over Barbados in the KFC Cup final at Bourda in October 2005, title success has eluded the Guyanese, although they came close on three occasions, finishing runner-up thrice, the last of which was in October 2018 against the Combined Campuses and Colleges.
One of the main issues has been the lack of situational awareness and a proactive approach while batting or bowling, especially in the pressure points of the matches.
On Friday, some of the players were engaged in a match simulation exercise at La Bonne Intention ground, and Head Coach, Esuan Crandon, in an interview with News Room Sport, expressed confidence in his charges lifting the title this season, providing they can prevail in the pressure situations.
“We had a couple of batting chats during the week on Zoom and I think some of those points came out. We spoke about whether you are batting or bowling or fielding, you need to be aware in order to win critical moments,” the coach related.
“I said to them, if we can do better under pressure then we are going to win this championship. I just feel when things get really tough and tight, we got to find good ways to get out of those situations without taking unnecessary risks…the calculated risk is advisable.”
Jaguars will be up against it in the tournament since it is understood, instead of the double round-robin group, it will be one round with just the six territories.
Jamaica Scorpions have released a relatively strong unit and several of the seasoned West Indies players are expected to turn out for Barbados Pride and Trinidad and Tobago Red Force.
Crandon further expressed, “I think we can do that [handle pressure] better, manoeuvre ourselves really well during those pressure situations, think clearly during those situations and then execute well during those situations then I think we stand a better chance of winning this tournament.”
The Berbician, who was a part of the successful Guyana team in 2005, added, “We are not short of the talent; I just think it is a little more thought process into it and to be able to sustain that focus and concentration for an extended period of time.”
After several fielding drills on Friday, the players shifted focus to match simulation exercises.
The first batting pair was Chandrapaul Hemraj and Trevon Griffith, who had to face 14 overs from the combination of West Indies speedster, Romario Shepherd, along with Keon Joseph, Demetri Cameron, and spinner Kevin Sinclair.
The duo scored well over 100 runs, surpassing their target of 77, and just had one dismissal. The pair which followed was Leon Johnson and Christopher Barnwell.
It is understood, a different group of players will participate in simulations on Saturday. The Regional Super50 is scheduled for February 7 to 27.