TT Red Force spinner Akeal Hosein believes the team’s spirit and “one for all, all for one” mentality will be crucial in getting them over the line this season in the West Indies Championship. TT are atop the table following an innings victory over Leeward Islands Hurricanes on 29.6 points, just 0.2 ahead of Windward Islands Volcanoes, in the four-day competition.
Hosein is currently the leading wicket-taker in the tournament after two matches with 15 scalps, including a six-for in the last game, and he thinks they’re ready to make an impact at the Guyana Jaguars starting on Wednesday.
“So far the season started off well for us. It was unfortunate we didn’t get the win against Jamaica but I thought the guys played well together. We bonded well (and) we were properly led by Darren Bravo. Having said that, it was just about getting that first run out for the season and understanding what we need to do to be able to win games,” Hosein said on the opening round draw against Jamaica Scorpions. He described that pitch at Brian Lara Cricket Academy in Tarouba as a “batting paradise” and a tough one to bowl on, but felt the attack learned and evolved for the Leewards win at the same ground. He credits coach Mervyn Dillon for helping finesse his game, which has seen Hosein bowling a lot more overs and looking like he’ll be sealing the spot as TT’s strike bowler this season. His left arm orthodox has troubled batsmen across the region in the CPL as well and he admitted while it’s fresh to be bowling so much, he’s up to the challenge as he’s getting to experiment and express himself differently. He has bowled the most overs in the tournament at 100.4 overs with Windwards’ Shane Shillingford behind him with 94.4 overs and 11 wickets.
“It’s been pretty decent under coach Merv. And having to bowl a lot of overs is a really good thing. It’s something new for me to be honest as when last I played for Trinidad, I didn’t bowl that many overs on the trot so to speak. I’m up for the challenge,” he emphasised. He did admit it was easier knowing his batsmen put on 400 and 500-plus scores in both matches to alleviate the pressure on the bowlers.
“It’s always comforting or more relaxing as a bowler to see that you have some runs to play with, knowing that your team put on a huge total. You could try one or two different things,” he said. As for the added responsibility this season, he revealed it was spread across the team which made it easier to carry.
“To be honest, I don’t feel any type of way with the responsibility. I have a big responsibility in my home, I have a big responsibility at Queen’s Park and I think the brand that we’re trying to create now with this Trinidad senior team is that one for all, all for one (style).
It’s not to say you’re going out there on the field alone where you feel like you have to do everything. We’re all hands on deck and that makes it a lot easier,” he concluded.