Lambert urges teammates to lift heads on victory hunt
JAMAICA captain Tamar Lambert says he wants no less than a victory when they go up against Trinidad & Tobago in the sixth-round Regional Four-day match at the Queen's Park Oval, starting today.
The Jamaicans, who suffered consecutive losses at home to Windward Islands and Barbados in the previous two rounds, are currently in fourth spot on 41 points, while Trinidad & Tobago are third on 56.
"We have to try to get some points, we have to try to get maximum points from that game," Lambert told the Jamaica Observer.
Only the top four teams will advance to the semi-final stage.
The 33-year-old skipper, who has overseen the most dominant Four-day team over the last decade, conceded that the Jamaicans' confidence has taken a hit.
"We have lost two games on the trot. That is something that I, as a leader, am not used to.
"We are a little bit down at the moment, but we have to find some way to get back things together. The guys have to have some confidence to go out there and play some good cricket against Trinidad. Everybody has to look at themself and put the best foot forward," Lambert said.
After the top order batsmen faltered embarrassingly in both losses, Lambert said the batting is a major concern.
"We definitely want to improve in both areas, but especially in the batting. If you look at the way we have been getting out, nobody has been beating us. We have been letting down ourselves. Players have to carry on once we get the starts and that's been our biggest downfall since the season started," he lamented.
Injured all-rounder David Bernard is replaced in the Jamaica 13-man squad by former West Indies youth pacer Nicholson Gordon. The 32-year-old Bernard sustained a knee injury after slipping while trying to field a ball in the Barbados encounter.
Off-spinner Jamie Merchant, 24, also misses out after taking only three wickets in the match against the Windwards and, disappointingly, going wicketless against Barbados. He is replaced by the fit-again wrist-spinner Odean Brown. The experienced slow bowler, 32, missed the Super50 tournament and the first part of the four-day competition following surgery on his knee.