"Saint Lucia wicket offers 60-40, in terms of...": WI skipper Powell ahead of game against Afghanistan

It will be a top-of-the-table clash in Group C between its two undefeated sides, West Indies and Afghanistan on Tuesday. Both have won all of their three games so far and qualified for the Super Eights stage. The winner of this game will top the table and will walk into the Super Eights with winning momentum and positivity.


ANI | Updated: 17-06-2024 23:28 IST | Created: 17-06-2024 23:28 IST
"Saint Lucia wicket offers 60-40, in terms of...": WI skipper Powell ahead of game against Afghanistan
Rovman Powell. (Photo- ICC). Image Credit: ANI
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Ahead of his side's final group stage game against Afghanistan in the ICC T20 World Cup, West Indies skipper Rovman Powell said that the wicket in Saint Lucia offers favours batters 60 per cent while 40 per cent of help is for the bowlers, adding that there is something for everyone on this surface. It will be a top-of-the-table clash in Group C between its two undefeated sides, West Indies and Afghanistan on Tuesday. Both have won all of their three games so far and qualified for the Super Eights stage. The winner of this game will top the table and will walk into the Super Eights with winning momentum and positivity.

Speaking about the wicket during the pre-match press conference, Powell said that the batters were excited to come to Saint Lucia when the schedule for the competition was announced. "St. Lucia has been a place where batters like to bat. But it is also an opportunity for bowlers to bowl good spells here, especially the fast bowlers. We think that St. Lucia offers 60 - 40 in terms of, from a batting perspective, to bowl. And so, if you are a bowler, or if you are a batter, you definitely can get something out of the St. Lucia wicket," he added.

He said that this tournament is a big chance for the players to play a World Cup game in front of their home countries. "We started in Guyana with Shimron Hetmyer, Romario Shepherd, Shamar Joseph, and Gudakesh Motie, playing in front of their home crowd. And then we went to Trinidad with Akeal Hosein and Nicholas Pooran. Now it is time for Johnson Charles to put on a show for his fellow St. Lucians," said Powell.

Powell noted that all the batters have had a very subtle start to the T20 WC and the game against Afghanistan is a chance for the batters to score big. Powell said that though the side has qualified for Super Eights, it is important for them to continue playing good cricket and aim to win in such dead rubber games as well.

"After this game the Super 8 is very, very important so you want players going into the Super 8 with good performances, you want to go in the Super 8 as a team winning. So that is something that we are taking seriously and not taking anything for granted even though we have qualified for the Super 8 already. It's an opportunity for us to also put on a display for the St. Lucians that will come out tomorrow to watch us play World Cup cricket," he said. On the selection of two left-arm orthodox spinners, Akael Hosein and Gudakesh Motie, Powell said that both players have different strengths.

"I think we start with Akeal Hosain, his strength is predominantly in the power play and while he does such good work in the power play, right as we come out the power play is Gudakesh Motie's time. So, it's like Akeal Hosein passing the baton on to Gudakesh Motie and it has been very good so far. When we sat down as a selection group and picked the World Cup team, we picked both of them knowing the role that they would play on these Caribbean wickets," said Powell. Powell also praised the Afghanistan team for playing some great and consistent T20I cricket and said that the team has lot of match-winners.

The skipper also said that the game would be a surreal moment for their coach Darren Sammy, who won the T20 WC title as a player and captain for the Windies in 2012 and 2016, to play a World Cup game in front of his hometown crowd in a stadium named after him. "Darren has been fantastic over the years, playing in front of them. Now it is time to pass on his knowledge to us so that we can go out and play a good game for the people of the Caribbean," he added.

On his team climbing to the third spot in the T20I rankings, Powell said that pressure will be there to perform as a team in front of their home crowd in a World Cup game, but he is happy with the progress since when he took over the captaincy nearly a year or so back, the team was near the bottom of the top 10 ranked teams. "To see us at number three now in the world is a pleasing feeling. And it shows that not just myself, but the players are coming together and we are doing something right. I've never played in a West Indies team that is ranked number three in the world. So that for me is something special and hopefully, just hopefully, we can continue to climb those rankings," he concluded.

Squads: West Indies Squad: Brandon King, Johnson Charles, Nicholas Pooran(w), Roston Chase, Rovman Powell(c), Sherfane Rutherford, Akeal Hosein, Andre Russell, Romario Shepherd, Alzarri Joseph, Gudakesh Motie, Obed McCoy, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Shamar Joseph

Afghanistan Squad: Rahmanullah Gurbaz(w), Ibrahim Zadran, Gulbadin Naib, Azmatullah Omarzai, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Karim Janat, Rashid Khan(c), Noor Ahmad, Naveen-ul-Haq, Fazalhaq Farooqi, Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Fareed Ahmad Malik, Mohammad Ishaq, Nangeyalia Kharote. (ANI)

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