Trinidad and Tobago Team CPL 2016: Meet the Trinbago Knight Riders Squad for the 4th season
The Trinbago Knight Riders have been a part of the Caribbean Premier League since its inception in 2013. Formerly known as Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel, they have adopted a catchier name for the 2016 season. Having won the tournament in 2015, they are the defending champions this year.
Those who might be wondering why the name changed from Red Steel to Knight Riders, you have guessed correctly. Red Chillies Entertainment, owned by Shah Rukh Khan and Juhi Chawla purchased a stake in the team in 2015.
The auction for the 2016 edition of the CPL was held in Barbados in February of this year. The Knight Riders picked up ex-New Zealand skipper Brendon McCullum as their Marquee overseas player for $130,000. Other big names who will don the colours of them are Hashim Amla of South Africa, Sunil Narine, Dwayne Bravo, Kevon Cooper, Sulieman Benn and Ramnaresh Sarwan of West Indies, and Colin Munro of New Zealand.
With a number of international stars to choose from, there is no dearth of talent for the Trinbago Knight Riders. The West Indian contingent of the team is strong, and they will have to play a key role for the Knight Riders to defend their crown.
Expect a good cop bad cop approach to the opposition bowling at the outset. With McCullum and Amla most likely to open the batting, the opening partnership will be a study in contrasts. While McCullum can be expected to launch a belligerent blitzkrieg, Amla will have a more measured approach, playing deliveries on their merit, and will anchor the innings.
The middle order has a lot of international experience which should serve them well. Umar Akmal and Ramnaresh Sarwan have been around the blocks for some time now, and their experienced hands should steady the ship in case of an early collapse.
Colin Munro is highly rated back in New Zealand, thanks to his brutish strength with which he can clear any boundary. Scoring quickly as well as rotating the strike, crucial during the middle overs of a match, will not be a cause for concern.
Consistency might be a worrisome aspect as players such as Munro and Akmal have not been able to perform on a consistent basis in any tournament yet.
The lower order has international cricket’s biggest celebrity currently. Youtube sensation, Dwayne ‘DJ’ Bravo is a T20 specialist renowned globally for his exploits with both bat and ball. Adept at scoring all around the park, bowlers will have a torrid time if Bravo is on song.
Anton Devcich, the Kiwi all-rounder is no mug with the bat and can provide crucial runs at a fast rate towards the end.
Expect the Knight Riders to be heavily reliant on spin this season. The trio of Nikita Miller, Suleiman Benn and Sunil Narine have sent many a batsman into a tizzy, and they will look to spin the opposition into a maze. Narine, despite being forced to change his bowling action, looks to be in fine fettle, as does Suleiman Benn, who won the World T20 with West Indies.
Although none of them are very proficient at batting, they can slog the occasional length ball for a six. Kevon Cooper, another young all-rounder hailing from the Caribbean, can be expected to chip in with some boundaries at the far end of the innings.
The team for the Knight Riders almost picks itself with very little need for rotation or change. Young pacer Ronsford Beaton might be selected ahead of one of the spinners on seam friendly tracks. Expect the batting lineup to remain unchanged throughout the tournament in the absence of injuries or fatigue.
As defending champions, the Knight Riders have the onus on them to defend their crown. With a decent balance between ball and bat within their squad, which is crucial for any team especially in T20 cricket, they can be expected to be serious contenders.
The performances of Dwayne Bravo and Brendon McCullum will be particularly important in determining how they fare. If their spinners are on song, expect the opposition to sweat on spin friendly tracks. With a host of internationally acclaimed cricketers, without any significant dip in form or confidence, they should finish near or at the top.
The complete team is as follows: Trinbago Knight Riders: Dwayne Bravo, Brendon McCullum, Sunil Narine, Hashim Amla, Umar Akmal, Kevon Cooper, Sulieman Benn, Colin Munro, Anton Devcich, Ronsford Beaton, Nikita Miller, Javon Searles, William Perkins, Yannick Cariah, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Hamza Tariq.