Winners of the inaugural edition of the Caribbean Premier League and two-time champions Jamaica Tallawahs begin their campaign against St Lucia Zouks in the third game of the upcoming season.
Led by Rovman Powell, the Jamaican-based team would look to improve upon their performance from last season where they finished at the bottom of the points table.
Having retained just 5 players (Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, Chadwick Walton, Oshane Thomas and Glenn Philipps), the Tallawahs signed Tabraiz Shamsi, who is set to miss the season due to traveling issues. In addition to that, they drafted in as many as 12 players. However, parting ways with Chris Gayle is something which might turn out to be critical to the side's fortunes.
Jamaica Tallawahs Squad
Retained: Andre Russell, Rovman Powell, Glenn Philipps (Overseas), Chadwick Walton, Oshane Thomas.
Signed: Tabraiz Shamsi (Overseas) (Unavailable)
Drafted: Sandeep Lamicchane (Overseas), Carlos Brathwaite, Asif Ali (Overseas), Fidel Edwards, Preston McSween, Andre McCarthy, Nicholas Kirton, Jeavor Royal, Nkrumah Bonner, Veerasammy Permaul, Ryan Persaud (ICC Americas pick).
Jamaica Tallawahs Strengths and Weaknesses
The top order includes Philipps, Walton and Bonner, with Walton who previously batted at 3 set to open in the absence of Gayle. Bonner does not have great T20 credentials but with the experience he has, he might be used as the anchor for the side.
The middle order has enough firepower to chase down any total. Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, Asif Ali and Carlos Brathwaite are some of the fiercest hitters of the ball available in the league.
However, unlike some of the other teams, Jamaica Tallawahs do not having batting depth as their batting ends at 7. Moreover, the backups are not very reliable with either too much inexperience or not great T20 records.
With the replacement for Shamsi yet to be announced, the spin department is set to be led by Lamicchane and Permaul with Bonner assisting with part-time off-spin. While the spin department looks competent enough, the lack of quality backups might prove to be a cause of concern.
Pace bowling is where the Jamaica Tallawahs boast of an enviable repertoire. Thomas, Edwards, Russell and Brathwaite more than make up for the lack of batting depth. They are a team who can efficiently use the short ball tactics against any side. For Jamiaca Tallawahs to better their performance and go on to make it big this season their fast bowlers need to be in top form.
Jamaica Tallawahs Probable first-choice playing XI
Glenn Philips (wk), Chadwick Walton, Nkrumah Bonner, Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, Asif Ali, Carlos Brathwaite, Fidel Edwards, Sandeep Lamicchane, Veerasammy Permaul, Oshane Thomas
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