two former WI test players applaud opening batsman
PORT OF SPAIN – Former West Indies Test players, fast bowler Anthony Gray and batsman Bryan Davis, have lavished praise on West Indies opening batsman Kieran Powell.
Powell scored centuries in both innings of the first Test against Bangladesh at Mirpur, a feat previously achieved by George Headley, Sir Garfield Sobers, Lawrence Rowe, Brian Lara, Gordon Greenidge, Sir Everton Weekes, Sir Clyde Walcott and Rohan Kanhai.
Gray and Davis said Powell’s innings in the first Test augured well for the team and that it was a tremendous effort by the Nevis-born batsman.
Gray described Powell’s centuries as one of the best performances in recent times and noted that his work highlighted the benefits of handling players properly.
“People have to know how to manage their players properly by putting them in the format to improve them. The West Indies management has done that with Powell,” Gray said.
“His patience has improved very well. He has shown technical improvement. He is learning to build an innings. He was also aggressive when he was younger and you see the patience level now. His concentration has improved,” Gray added.
In contrast, Gray noted, Adrian Barath, who made his Test debut with a century against Australia in 2009, is being given more opportunities to play T20 (for Trinidad and Tobago) and his ability to concentrate for long periods in the Test arena had suffered.
“They (West Indies) are managing the players better than we (T&T) are managing Barath,” Gray added.
Davis also had good things to say of Powell.
“He is taking his opportunity and is playing with a lot of mental strength…He is playing like a master. It was a fantastic effort by a young cricketer to play two innings like that. It is a tremendous effort and shows mental strength,” Davis said.
Both men also expressed pleasure at the performance of Barbadian pacer Tino Best who took six wickets in the match, including his maiden Test five-wicket haul in the second innings.
“You have to understand Best. He did not have a consistent bowling action…he needed a lot of work. He is very exuberant but his performance in the second innings was because of the bowling he did in the first innings. I am happy he has done well because when people look at his performances, they remember the past but not his maturity now. I am happy for him,” Gray said.
“I was looking for (Ravi) Rampaul to be the man and not Best because Rampaul is a bit more accurate than Best. I was surprised yes, because I never rated (him) highly because I always thought he was never accurate enough and he always looked wild. I hoped he would pick up some wickets so I am very happy for him,” Davis said.