Barbados Tridents will be without the services of Kieron Pollard (left) © Getty Images
Barbados Tridents will be without the services of Kieron Pollard (left) © Getty Images

Barbados Tridents come into the Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014 a month after they lifted the Caribbean Premier League (CPL). However, they would be without the big names — Kieron Pollard, Shoaib Malik and Dwayne Smith. Nishad Pai Vaidya previews the chances of this unit led by Rayad Emrit.

When they field a full-strength unit, the reigning Caribbean Premier League (CPL) champions are one of the most dangerous sides in T20 cricket. But, take away Kieron Pollard, Shoaib Malik and Dwayne Smith and they don’t boast of the same strength. The unfortunate part is that Barbados head into the Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014 without their three trump-cards. Regular skipper Pollard is leading the Mumbai Indians (MI), Malik is turning up for his Big Bash League (BBL) side Hobart Hurricanes and Smith will play for the Chennai Super Kings (CSK). Captain Emrit has a good side, but without that formidable punch!

Captain: Emrit is a good bowler who has played two One-Day Internationals (ODIs) for the West Indies in 2007. He is a medium-pace bowler, who is capable of taking wickets. However, an economy rate of 6.66 in T20 cricket is what makes him invaluable to this side. Though he has some batting talent, his record isn’t all that great and his role would be restricted with the ball. As a captain, he has a huge task ahead of him as Barbados will look for inspiration in this tournament.

Key international players: James Franklin, Neil McKenzie, Elton Chigumbura, Jeevan Mendis and Dilshan Munaweera are the five international players in the side. Apart from Munaweera, the others are all-rounders. Mendis too had a critical role to play in Barbados’ triumphs. In the middle-order, he can be a stable batsman and can bowl some useful leg-spin. Franklin’s experience in the Indian conditions will come in handy. He has done well for Mumbai Indians in India and he should be able to bring that to the table for Barbados. Chigumbura will be more of a calm finisher and could tactically help Emrit, given his captaincy experiences.

Key West Indies players: One name stands out — Jason Holder. The tall West Indian seamer can extract some bounce and unsettle the batsmen. However, there is another side to his game that was unearthed during the CPL 2014. With the willow in hand, he can be a destructive force and was often sent in as a pinch-hitter. It was a strategy that worked well for them in the tournament and they may take the gamble of doing it again this time. Without their main batsmen, Holder may have an even bigger role to play one should say. The other important name is Ravi Rampaul. Rampaul has enjoyed success in India in the past and has the experience behind him. In combination with Holder, he forms a good new-ball attack and will also have the support of the economical Emrit.

Past record: This is the first time a CPL team is playing the CLT20. Until last year, the winners of the regional T20 tournament had played. Trinidad and Tobago, the national side i.e. featured in four out of the five previous CLT20s. Thus, this unit makes its debut and not only represents Barbados, but the Caribbean and its new CPL.

Complete coverage of Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014 here

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)