Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel are confident they can break the Barbados Tridents’ winning streak, when the two teams go head to head in the fifth game of the Hero Caribbean Premier League at Kensington Oval tomorrow night.
While the Tridents have won their two opening games, Red Steel suffered the disappointment of a no-result in their opening game on Sunday in St Lucia, when the rain washed out the contest at the Beausejour Cricket Stadium.
However, head coach Simon Helmot said Red Steel were upbeat and ready to do battle against the red-hot Tridents in the 8 p.m. fixture.
“They’ve won their two first scheduled matches, and they are the team to beat especially on their home turf in front of their home crowd. However, I think the wicket and the ground are certainly going to suit our style of play. We have a good combination of spin and pace and a batting outfit which I think can match any team,” Helmot said today.
“Like any game of T20, you just need to play at your best and execute your skills best you can. I thought we were a little off with our bowling execution in [the opening game] and I think the intensity in the field was probably lacking in that first half of the last match where I thought we came back quite well and the catches and run-outs were taken. If we can play to the best of our ability I’m sure we can match it here and beat the Tridents.”
Red Steel boast in their line-up the likes of South African star Jacques Kallis, whose all-round skills are expected to be a key feature of their campaign.
South African batsman Cameron Delport is also a part of the Red Steel this year, along with Pakistani batsman Kamran Akmal and South Africa off-spinner Johan Botha, as the other overseas imports.
The Bravo Brothers, Dwayne and Darren, lead the Caribbean contingent which is also bolstered by top-rated leg-spinner Samuel Badree.
Helmot said the mood in the Red Steel camp was upbeat, pointing out the players were anxiously looking forward to the encounter.
“We have a fantastic unit. There’s a lot of fun and enjoyment, lots of smiles and laughter as well as some serious hard work,” Helmot explained.
“We had a fantastic session yesterday at Kensington Oval where the guys worked very hard . . . the guys enjoy playing under lights in front of capacity crowds and they are really pumped and ready for tomorrow’s game.
“We’re fortunate, we believe we have depth in our squad that can be picked at any time depending on the opposition that we’re playing. We’re very confident but we’re certainly very respectful to the talent and depth of the opposition.”
Tridents have been clinical in their execution in their two games to date, beating Guyana Amazon Warriors by 49 runs last Saturday and following up with a 16-run victory over Jamaica Tallawahs last night.
Helmot said Red Steel would take nothing for granted against Tridents but would be looking to put them under pressure, in order to get an early grip on the game.
“I think the Tridents are obviously very good depth-wise in their batting order. Like ourselves, they’ve got a good mix of pace and spin and they’re well led,” the Australian said.
“Kieron Pollard has been a successful captain and successful player in many formats all around the world. He’s coming off success last year in the CPL and he also backed it up with a win in the IPL with Mumbai. Kieron is not only a great player in his own right but he’s also been a leader in successful teams.”
He continued: “We believe that, like with any team, if you can put them under some pressure, make sure we’re really aggressive in the field and show real desire and intensity, we can put pressure on their batting unit.
“Whenever you play a good side, you can’t afford to be bogged down, you can’t afford to be dictated to so we’ll be looking to put our strategy in place so the game can be played on our terms,” he said.