By: Curtis Morton
Nevisian and West Indies opening batsman, Kieran Powell is fully focused and ready for the upcoming challenges as he heads off to India with the West Indies A team.
Kieran agreed to an interview late Monday night, even though he was set to catch a boat at 6am the next morning to go over to St.Kitts where he was to board a flight to Barbados to join his teammates. The West Indies A team was due to fly out of Barbados on Tuesday evening, en route to India.
In referring to his recent CPL performances, Powell expressed the thought that he was below par. ‘I was a little rusty for starters as I was just coming off my finger injury. My finger was broken on two separate occasions. However, I got better as the tournament progressed and I managed to end up in the ten top batters’ he said.
When asked about adjusting to the longer versions of the game as he goes off to India, he stated that his plan was simple—‘to stick to the basics.’ It’s a matter of waiting for the bad balls. The scoring opportunities will come. I just plan to keep it simple,’ he said.
Powell who has been selected as captain of the one day team and vice captain of the four day team, stated that when he was asked to take up the leadership role, he was happy to accept. ‘They (the selectors) are looking in new directions in terms of leadership and I did not see any harm in giving it a try. Obviously, I have a little more international experience than some of the other guys and I will do my best for the team,’ he said.
Powell also explained that he has sought advice from several key individuals as regards to captaincy and other issues. These include Ricky Ponting; Darren Sammy; Marlon Samuels and his Dad who has stuck with him through thick and thin, Carlisle Powell.
About his plans for the upcoming tour, Powell who has played in India previously, noted that the surfaces there are slower and lower and has the ball turning from ball one.
‘I plan to build my innings and spend a lot of time in the middle. I hope to get some big scores and build my confidence, he stated.
He was quick to point out that he is hoping to be a part of the senior West Indies tour to India which begins just one week after the A team tour concludes and he also plans to be a part of the team for the New Zealand tour which follows.
In terms of countering the spin threat, the confident left hander indicated that his plan was to get as close to the pitch of the ball as possible and to be aggressive against the spinners. ‘In my mind they are the easiest form of bowling to face. They just toss the ball into the air. I will get to the pitch to eliminate the spin threat and force them to bowl more seamers at me,’ he said.
In terms of the pitch conditions he opined that because they are slower and lower in nature, the batsmen will have to stay a bit lower and wait on the ball a little more.
He was asked about his activities off the field of play, in recent times.
Powell stated: ‘I have been spending a lot of time with family and friends because I know when I leave tomorrow, I won’t be back until next year. Lots of sleep; a little partying here and there; training and practice and just living a normal life.’
He also indicated that although he has not been to the gym for a while, he has been running the beach regularly and thanked Chavil Archibald for taking time out to bowl to him on a regular basis.
Morton thanked him for playing his role well as an ambassador for Nevis and wished him every success in his upcoming encounters.