Powell says Windies ready for top of the table clash with Afghanistan

By June 17, 2024
West Indies captain Rovman Powell. West Indies captain Rovman Powell. ICC/Getty Images

So far, the experience at the 2024 ICC Men’s T20 World Cup has been a fantastic one for the West Indies.

The two-time champions and joint hosts have won all three of their matches in Group C against Papua New Guinea, Uganda and New Zealand and have already secured a spot in the Super 8.

A win over Afghanistan in their final Group Stage game at the Daren Sammy Cricket Stadium in St. Lucia on Monday will see them advance as winners of Group C.

Their opponents also have three wins in as many games and are currently top of the group with a superior net run rate, 4.230 to 2.596.

West Indies skipper Rovman Powell addressed the media on Sunday ahead of Monday’s encounter.

“Obviously, it's a top of the table clash. Afghanistan have been playing good T20 cricket and consistent T20 cricket. They have a lot of match winners. So, it's something that we have to come with our best game. As I said before, they're playing good T20 cricket. So, it's an opportunity for us to play against another world class side. Very good practice going into the Super 8 games,” he said.

The hosts have played their three games in Guyana and Trinidad & Tobago and are looking forward to playing at the Daren Sammy Stadium in St. Lucia, a pitch known as one of the better ones in the region for batting.

“Yeah, definitely. When we look on the schedule, all the batters were excited to come to St. Lucia. Traditionally, St. Lucia have been a place where batters like to bat. It's also an opportunity for bowlers to bowl good spells here, especially the fast bowlers. We think that St. Lucia offer 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,” Powell said.

One major concern for the West Indies has been the form of opener Johnson Charles who has scored 44 runs in three games, so far, with all 44 of those runs coming against Uganda.

Powell says he expects Charles to come good at some point and is encouraging him to continue to be aggressive at the top of the innings.

“It's just a case of us telling him to be Johnson Charles, be his natural self. If he's an aggressive player, we expect him to play aggressive. But with that aggression, we know at some point he will fail and at some point, he will come good. So, it's for us now to support him, it's for us now to give him that additional backing that he needs and I think everyone is behind him to come good tomorrow or when he gets the opportunity in the future games,” he said.

Since the tournament, the regional side have climbed up to number three in the ICC T20 International rankings.

Naturally, a team playing a home World Cup will face pressure to perform well but this bump in ranking will only magnify that pressure.

Powell says the team is aware and ready for the challenge ahead.

“I think pressure is always there, especially when you're at home, especially when you're playing a World Cup at home. Pressure is always there, but it's for us as individuals to manage that pressure,” he said.

“I think for me as captain, when I started this journey 12 or 14 months ago, when I took over as captain, we were at eight or nine in the ranking. 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're 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 added.

 

 

 

 

Bradley Jacks

Bradley Jacks is a budding journalist and an avid sports fan. His love of research and sports has led him to SportsMax.tv, a place where those passions work hand in hand to allow him to produce content.

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