Canadian Cricket

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The good news from the Americas Championships

I mentioned in my previous entry that there were some positives to be taken out of the largely disappointing performance from the Canadian side in the Americas Championships of last week. I'll take some time now to elaborate on them.

Canada has located a fine batsman in Sandeep Jyoti. This young man opened the batting along with John Davison in each of the matches of the tournament and did so very well. He batted with style and tact, and put up good scores while avoiding early wickets. It is unknown whether he will remain an opener heading into the world cup with the possibility of Geoff Barnett rejoining the team, but he should surely be a top-order batsman moving forward.

Canada have found two new pace options. While we surely missed Umar Bhatti and Henry Osinde during this tournament, Steve Welsh and Austin Codrington performed admirably, and have both thrown their names into the hat for being the third (and maybe fourth?) pacers included on the world cup squad. Both for the most part - that is, not including the Bermuda match - bowled economically and took a few wickets as well. Having one of them come in as the third man after Bhatti and Osinde open should make for a lethal combination.

Finally, Canada have found some new wicketkeeping options. Not to say that Ashish Bagai is not and should not be our number one, but it is nice to have some other options in case he is unable to go for some reason. Kendon Ottley and Surendra Seeraj both did well behind the stumps, even if they weren't at their best in front of them. As I say, I still believe Bagai is the top man for the job - a good keeper who bats third is hard to come by - but taking one of these other young men along is a neceesity in case of injury.

So we can see that even though Canada finished disappointed in the tournament, it served the purpose selectors were using it for. They tried out some new bodies and identified some new talents to use in the forthcoming winter campaign. Canada have some time off now, with their next matches coming in an ODI triseries with Bermuda and The Netherlands in South Africa beginning in late November. They then have the Intercontinental Cup match against The Neteherlands before they participate in WCL Division 1 in Kenya early next year. I'll keep my ear to the ground for any news and will put it - and my opinions - right here.

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