Nation e-Edition

Powell looking to keep place

WEST INDIES’ CAPTAIN Darren Sammy (left) leading (from second left) Narsingh Deonarine, Tino Best, Assad Fudadin, debutant Veerasammy Permaul and Kirk Edwards during warm-up drills at the 3Ws Oval yesterday.

By JUSTIN MARVILLE | Tue, October 30, 2012 - 12:05 AM

KIERAN POWELL knows something about how to secure the other opening spot.

Score runs consistently.

The less-heralded half of West Indies’ opening pair believes he is more prepared for the challenges of Test cricket but acknowledges that means nothing unless he continues to score more runs at the top of the order.

The 22-year-old Nevisian made the comment during yesterday’s training session at the 3Ws Oval ahead of next month’s tour of Bangladesh.

“There’s always pressure in Test cricket so you’re just looking to deal with the pressure in whatever way and try and make it as easy as possible, [but] as anyone else would do, you just have to keep scoring runs,” Powell said of staking his claim to a spot on the regional side.

“I think that over the last series my performances are starting to shift and I’m understanding more what I need to do to be successful at this level. Also, watching guys like Marlon Samuels, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Chris Gayle operate on a daily basis, seeing how they go about things makes it a lot easier for me to know what I have to do to be more successful.

“[But] if you want to make the spot yours, you just have to keep scoring runs consistently and let the selectors know that you’re hungry,” he affirmed

It was the major point of emphasis for the young Leeward Islands opener, who debuted for the senior side in Gayle’s absence last year and first gave a glimpse of his talent with a well polished 72 in Bangladesh in just his second Test.

However, the subsequent returns haven’t been anything to boast of, with Powell passing 50 just once in his next 14 innings to leave many pundits questioning his place in the side.

But Gayle’s belated comeback also signalled a return to form of sorts for Powell, who finally made his debut century against New Zealand in the team’s last Test series.

And now he’ll be looking to replicate that success at the site of his first major milestone, where he expects to face even more challenges.

“We’re going to Bangladesh and we’re going to face lots of spin so I’m just looking to bat lots of spin in the practice sessions. The 3Ws Oval is a wicket that normally turns in first-class cricket so it’s good preparation for the tour of Bangladesh,” explained Powell.

“I’m just trying to keep my balance [because] as an opening batsman I don’t want to be falling over or anything like that, so I just want to work on my positions.

“Personally, I’m expecting to continue improving from the last series and, as a team, I’m expecting us to continue winning. I [also] have my personal goals but I really don’t want to reveal that. Anything that goes towards contributing to the team’s overall win in the series will be welcomed,” he added.

Fresh from winning the World T20 Cup in Sri Lanka, West Indies travel to Bangladesh next week to play two Tests, five One-Day Internationals and a one-off T20 International.

“The last series against New Zealand we won as well and we won the World T20, so we’re full of confidence and we will be looking to take that into this series,” Powell said.

“We’re expecting Bangladesh to be very hot, but we’re a very fit team, so that shouldn’t be a problem.”

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