T20 World Cup: Powell ‘pleased’ with WI’s growth under his captaincy, says ‘we’re doing something right’

Gros Islet (St Lucia): West Indies skipper Rovman Powell is pleased with the elevation of his side in the past 14 months under his captaincy as they climbed to No.3 in the T20I rankings before playing the home T20 World Cup.

The West Indies are unbeaten in the tournament with three straight wins in Group D to secure a Super Eight spot. They will face group-toppers Afghanistan in their last group-stage fixture at Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium on Tuesday.

Powell admitted home pressure in the mega event, adding that the team has coped it well so far while highlighting their ascent in the T20I rankings under his leadership.

“I think pressure is always there, especially when you’re playing a World Cup at home. Pressure is always there, but it’s for us as individuals to manage those pressures. And I think for me as captain, when I started this journey 12 or 14 months ago when I took over as captain, we were at eight or nine in the ranking,” he said ahead of the match against Afghanistan.

“To see us at number three now in the world is a pleasing feeling. And it shows that not just myself, but the players are coming together and we’re doing something right. I’ve never played in a West Indies team that is ranked number three in the world. So that for me is something special and hopefully, just hopefully, we can continue to climb those rankings,” Powell added.

On Monday, the local boy Johnson Charles will have the opportunity to put up a show in front of his home crowd. Barring 44 against Uganda, the opener failed to open his account in the two matches. Powell extended his support to the struggling batter and said the team expects him to play aggressively.

“It’s just a case of us telling him to be Johnson Charles, be his natural self. If he’s an aggressive player, we expect him to play aggressively. But with that aggression, we know at some point he will fail and at some point, he will come good. So, it’s for us now to support him, it’s for us now to give him that additional backing that he needs and I think everyone is behind him to come good tomorrow or when he gets the opportunity in the future games,” the captain said.

Powell also emphasised his happiness at getting to play at the batter-friendly venue, which has not been common in this competition.

“When we look at the schedule all the batters were excited to come to St. Lucia. Traditionally St. Lucia has been a place where batters like to bat. But it’s also an opportunity for bowlers to bowl good spells here, especially the fast bowlers. We think that St. Lucia offers 60-40 (runs) in terms of, from a batting perspective, to bowl. And so, if you are a bowler, or if you are a batter, you definitely can get something out of the St. Lucia wicket,” he concluded.


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