CricViz analyst Freddie Wilde picks Guyana Amazon Warriors likely XI and identifies their strengths & weaknesses ahead of the 2020 CPL.
- Brandon King – right-hander
- Chandrapaul Hemraj – left-hander & left-arm finger spinner
- Shimron Hetmyer – left-hander
- Ross Taylor – right-hander
- Nicholas Pooran – left-hander & wicket-keeper
- Sherfane Rutherford – left-hander & right-arm medium
- Keemo Paul – right-hander & right-arm medium fast
- Romario Shepherd – right-hander & right-arm fast medium
- Chris Green – right-hander & off spin
- Naveen-ul-Haq – right-arm medium fast
- Imran Tahir – leg spin
Squad players: Anthony Bramble (right-hander & wicket-keeper), Jasdeep Singh (right-hander & right-arm medium fast), Kissoondath Magram (leg spin), Kevin Sinclair (off spin – Emerging Player), Ashmead Nedd (left-arm finger spin – Emerging Player)
Know their method
Last year’s runners up Guyana are one of only two teams – along with TKR – who have retained more than half their squad from last year and as such they will be looking to replicate the method that took them on their eleven match winning streak and to the top of the table. The only major changes from their brilliant 2019 team will be the anchor batsman Shoaib Malik replaced by the like-for-like Ross Taylor and the slower ball bowler Ben Laughlin replaced by the like-for-like Naveen-ul-Haq.
Guyana’s success in recent years has been founded on their home venue Providence Stadium where the pitches have provided massive assistance to spin bowlers. While the tournament being played entirely in Trinidad robs them of their home advantage they are likely to experience similarly spin-friendly conditions in Trinidad too given the volume of cricket played at the two venues.
57% of Guyana’s overs last year were bowled by spinners – one of the highest proportions of spin overs in a major league season. This was thanks in part to their home conditions but also to the brilliance of their spin attack. This season they have maintained the same primary trio of leg spinner Imran Tahir, off spinner Chris Green and left-arm spinner Chandrapaul Hemraj. The emerging spinners Kevin Sinclar and Ashmead Nedd provides the Amazon Warriors with an additional of spinner and left-arm finger spinner.
Superb batting, particularly v spin
Guyana’s batting order of Brandon King, Hemraj, Taylor, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran and Sherfane Rutherford is one of the strongest batting orders on the global T20 circuit. Of the top six only Hemraj’s T20 record is substandard while King, Hetmyer and Rutherford are four of the brightest batting talents in the world and Pooran is arguably one of the best middle order players in the game. Not only is Guyana’s batting line-up strong but it is very well set up to deal with the particular challenges of the CPL and in particular this year’s CPL with a high proportion of overs expected to be bowled by spinners. All of Guyana’s top order are at least good, and in some cases excellent, players of spin. A left-hander heavy balance: Hemraj, Hetmyer, Pooran and Rutherford are all lefties – helps Guyana exploit spin match-ups.
CRICVIZ PROFESSIONAL ANALYSIS
Guyana’s pace attack is likely to be the right-arm quickie Romario Shepherd and the Afghan Naveen. Both bowlers are highly regarded talents but they are both young – Shepherd is 25 and Naveen is 20 and there are some question marks around their ability to perform consistently at this level. Shepherd – capable of speeds in the 130s – is the enforcer of the attack while Naveen is renowned for his changes of pace. While they are both hot prospects, opposition teams will certainly see these two bowlers as the weak-links of what is a strong Guyana attack.
Batting order confusion
Although Guyana were superb last season one criticism that could be levelled at them was their inefficient use of their excellent batting resources. Across the campaign Hetmyer, Pooran and Rutherford—arguably the Warriors’ three most destructive players—faced 393 balls between them while King, Hemraj and Malik faced 835. This is obviously a consequence of the batting order adopted by Guyana but questions should be asked as to whether Pooran in particular – who only faced 128 balls all season – should bat higher up the order so he can have a greater influence on matches. It will be interesting to see whether Guyana are more willing to give their dangerous left-handed trio more time at the crease this season.
The Chris Green question
This will be Green’s first tournament after his suspension for an illegal bowling action. While Green is not – like many bowlers who are suspended – reliant on mystery spin for his success, it will still be interesting to see whether he experiences a dip in effectiveness with his remodelled action. His speed in particular was a big part of his threat and that may be affected by the changes. Green is a valuable cog in the Guyana spin machine.
Freddie Wilde is a CricViz analyst, @fwildecricket