… Why was Barnwell axed instead of Joseph?
STRANGELY, it seems as though the Senior National Selection Committee of the Guyana Cricket Board loves failure more than success, when one looks at the changes made to the team which will contest the sixth round match in the West Indies Cricket Board Regional four-day tournament starting on Friday against the Leeward Islands.Discarded opener Trevon Griffith, West Indies U-19 player Shimron Hetmyer and all-rounder Zaheer Mohamed will all have an opportunity to play their first match in the competition, with Hetmyer – if selected – making his debut while Ronsford Beaton will make a return from injury suffered during the first round game against Jamaica.
These players come into the team at the expense of Narsingh Deonarine, Christopher Barnwell, Devendra Bishoo and Shivnarine Chanderpaul, with the elder Chanderpaul being unavailable as he leaves to fulfil his English County contract with Derbyshire.
Deonarine was one of five senior players in the squad with Barnwell, skipper Leon Johnson, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Assad Fudadin being the others, but he failed to live up to expectations with the bat, having scores of 0, 38, 0, 0, 0, 38, 19 and 0 in his eight innings, while he took 7 for 149 with his part-time off-spin.
The selectors have found it necessary to give him the axe now, when it is too late, taking into consideration another young batsman such as Rajendra Chandrika or even Ryan Ramdass, whose first class average is 30.64, or even the composed Rajiv Ivan could have been called up earlier to replace him.
Then they sacked Vishal Singh and Sewnarine Chattergoon from the team for the contest against Combined Campuses and Colleges (CCC), one that we lost by seven wickets, when, at the time of those two being axed, they were the lone batsmen along with Fudadin to have chalked up half-centuries for Guyana.
Chattergoon was replaced by Chandrapaul Hemraj, while Shivnarine Chanderpaul replaced Singh, with Deonarine who had failed to get off the mark on four occasions prior to that match, being given another chance.
Yes, it is a fact that Barnwell did not deliver with the bat as well, as his scores read 34, 14, 2, 4, 13, 4, 22 and 11, but where he failed with the bat, he made up with the ball as the team’s lone all-rounder, picking up 4 for 54 against the Windward Islands in the third round.
That was a game Guyana had to win, after being given 209 to win from a minimum of 75 overs plus the 15 in the final hour, but failed to reach the target, as their batsmen batted at a snail’s pace, with Fudadin matching 17-year-old Tagenarine Chanderpaul in the ultra-defensive batting mode.
To look at it, Keon Joseph who was selected along with Beaton to share the new ball has taken only 3 wickets, for 145, in the three matches to date with his best being 1 for 15, while Barnwell, who backs up the fast bowlers with his medium fast bowling, has 5 for 189, with his best being mentioned above.
So why was he axed from the team, when he paid his dues during the first two games in the absence of Leon Johnson and his appointed deputy Shivnarine Chanderpaul, both missing through injuries, while the elder Chanderpaul relieved him of the captaincy duties during the third round game against Windward Islands?
Bishoo had mixed fortunes with a total of 13 wickets for 366 runs, capturing one five-wicket haul, that being his 5 for 71 against Barbados, but struggled to get batsmen out after that and, with young Amir Khan waiting in the wings, made way for the former Guyana and West Indies Under-19 leg-spinner, who can also handle his own with the bat.
Complacency and insularity are the order of the day among our selectors, as they have kept faith in Joseph, even though he replaced Raun Johnson who had an impressive debut against Barbados with his 3 for 38, taking 6 for 155 from the two matches he played so far.
The recall of Griffith, who has enjoyed a magnificent season in Trinidad and Tobago for Esmeralda Sports Club, along with Mohammed, clearly indicates the recycling process that is going on with our selectors during this four-day tournament.
Nevertheless, the team which will leave for Antigua this morning reads: Leon Johnson, Assad Fudadin, Amir Khan, Trevon Griffith, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Zaheer Mohamed, Ronsford Beaton, Anthony Bramble, Veerasammy Permaul, Shimron Hetmyer, Raun Johnson, Keon Joseph, Chandrapaul Hemraj, with coach Esaun Crandon and manager Alvin Johnson.
By Calvin Roberts
… Why was Barnwell axed instead of Joseph?