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CPL 2021: St Kitts & Nevis Patriots SWOT analysis

Trinbago Knight Riders v St Kitts Nevis Patriots - 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL)
Trinbago Knight Riders v St Kitts Nevis Patriots - 2019 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL)
Deepak Panda

The hosts for the ninth edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2021, St Kitts & Nevis Patriots, are among the three teams who are yet to lift the CPL trophy. Led by Rayad Emrit, the Patriots hold a completely new look barring a few faces from last season.

Chris Gayle, who decided to skip last season, and Fabian Allen, who missed the entire season because he missed the flight, will be back for the Patriots. Dwayne Bravo is another big name who will play for the hosts this season. However, the likes of Anrich Nortje and Wanindu Hasaranga will be unavailable due to international fixtures.

As we near the start of the tournament, let's take a look at the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots team based on their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats:


St Kitts & Nevis Patriots squad

Rayad Emrit (c), Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle, Fabian Allen, Sherfane Rutherford, Evin Lewis, Asif Ali, Ravi Bopara, Joshua Da Silva, Colin Archibald, Fawad Ahmed, Sheldon Cottrell, Devon Thomas, Jon-Russ Jaggesar, Paul van Meekeren, Dominic Drakes, Mykile Louis.


Strengths

The St Kitts & Nevis Patriots have insane batting depth this season, with capable hitters till number 10. Allen's availability and Bravo's inclusion make them one of the best batting units of CPL 2021.

Chris Gayle will be back for the Patriots after opting out of the CPL in 2020
Chris Gayle will be back for the Patriots after opting out of the CPL in 2020

Power-hitting versus spin is something the team certainly looks good at. The middle order consisting of Gayle, Ravi Bopara, Sherfane Rutherford, Allen and Asif Ali should be terrific against spin.


Weaknesses

The Patriots lag a bit on bench strength. The unavailability of Nortje and Hasaranga makes the situation tough for the team. They don't have good enough batsmen who can fill the shoes of the first-choice players in case of injury. Similarly, they don't have enough quality reserves for the bowlers.

The new-ball attack seems to be their weak link, with no clear contender to open the bowling with Sheldon Cottrell. The likes of Rayad Emrit and Bravo are known for their clever variations in death and middle overs. But they have been found to be expensive in the powerplays. Nortje will be missed the most for this particular reason.


Opportunities

Asif Ali has been on the fringes of the Pakistani side due to his inconsistency. However, he would like to make a statement with his performance at CPL 2021 ahead of the T20 World Cup. A good showing for the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots with a few match-winning knocks under pressure will do him a world of good.

Sherfane Rutherford did not get enough opportunities in his preferred position with Guyana last season. He was sent in too low down the order and it did not suit his game. But for the Patriots, he will either be opening or playing at no.4, which will allow him to express himself better and play to his potential.


Threats

The absence of a genuine new-ball bowler to partner Cottrell will be a key issue for the St Kitts & Nevis Patriots team management to handle. Besides Cottrell, none of the first-choice pacers or spinners are known for bowling in the powerplay overs. It will be interesting to see if they want to fit in someone specifically for the role by dropping one of their first-choice bowlers or batsmen.


St Kitts & Nevis Patriots probable playing XI

Evin Lewis, Joshua da Silva (wk), Chris Gayle, Sherfane Rutherford, Ravi Bopara, Fabian Allen, Asif Ali, Dwayne Bravo, Rayad Emrit, Sheldon Cottrell, Fawad Ahmed


Edited by Samya Majumdar

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