PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad — Manager of the Trinidad and Tobago cricket team, Omar Khan, believes the West Indies should stick with the bowling trio of Sunil Narine, Samuel Badree and Ravi Rampaul for the rest of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament in Sri Lanka.
The three cricketers played a key role in helping Windies defend a modest 139 all out against New Zealand Monday to squeeze into the semi-finals after prevailing in a Super Over.
Narine, Badree and Rampaul picked up a total of five wickets bowling 12 overs for just 61 runs that ultimately put the squeeze on their opponents.
“Badree should always be part of the team because playing in Sri Lanka you need two spinners. I think Sunil was excellent in the late overs,” said Khan.
“The spinners were good and the guys showed good control of line and length which you need in this format. They took the match to the Super Over where you always have a chance”.
Narine, in particular, was brilliant in the 17th and 19th overs, conceding just five runs while taking two crucial wickets that ultimately swung the match in West Indies favour.
The T&T manager says he was surprised by Narine’s exceptional effort despite him not being at his best in the tournament previously.
The off-spinner had picked up just one wicket from four matches.
“We all know Sunil is a class act so it is a matter of him staying mentally strong” said Khan.
“In Twenty20, any bowler can be under pressure at any time so you have to be mentally strong”.
Meanwhile, Khan says he is taking no issue with the West Indies team management for shuffling the batting lineup even though it seemed to have backfired.
“It’s all about strategy so sending (Andre) Russell as a pinch-hitter may have worked and may not have worked” said.
“It’s all about strategy and sometimes things don’t go according to plan”.
However Khan has questioned the position of St Lucian batsman Johnson Charles at the top of the order.
Charles made a whirlwind 84 against England in the Super Eights but commentators have said that he has not looked comfortable in his knocks and his inability to rotate the strike has put the West Indies under pressure.
West Indies plays its semi-final game on Friday and the T&T manager is confidence the Caribbean side can prevail.
“On any given day, the West Indies can beat any team,” Khan said.
“We just have to keep our head on and do the basics right.”