Scorpions’ assistant coach Miller targets early wickets
Jamaica Scorpions assistant coach Nikita Miller has worked tirelessly with the bowlers and expects the formula used to win the regional Super50 title last year to be employed successfully again this year.
The Scorpions' preparation is in full swing, with the squad recently wrapping up back-to-back practice games this week, which will help select the players for the October 17 start in Trinidad and Tobago.
On the back of enterprising batting, backed by some remarkable bowling, the Scorpions lifted the limited overs title last year, with the Rovman Powell-led team ending an 11-year drought for the trophy.
The bowling was critical to the team's success, with four of the team's bowlers ending in the top 10 wicket-takers in the competition.
Seamers Odean Smith and Nicholson Gordon had 15 wickets in eight matches for second and third in the standings, while spinner Dennis Bulli placed fifth in the wicket-taking column after picking up 14 wickets in six games. Left-arm slow bowler Jeavor Royal bagged 12 wickets in eight matches to be seventh on the list.
Miller contends that things are looking up for the Scorpions to defend their title successfully.
"The way we want to play is to make sure we are taking wickets in the power play so that puts pressure on the opposition's batting in the middle overs. So far, the bowlers, especially the seamers, have been picking up early wickets, which is a positive for us," said Miller.
Seamer Derval Green has gotten off to a hot streak after picking up four wickets in the opening practice game, with left-arm seamer Shalom Parnell grabbing three wickets for his team.
West Indies pacer Sheldon Cottrell was also in good nick in the second practice game after picking up three wickets, with the speedy Ojay Shields also bagging two quick wickets before rain ended the second match.
With these early signs, Miller is confident the Scorpions will put in another good showing, however, he is still keen on getting one other aspect right before the tournament begins.
"The only thing we can improve even more is our death bowling. I see the bowlers trying to be more decisive and doing that as a group. Based on that, I would give them a pass mark," added Miller.
The competition for places in this year's squad is set to intensify even further as players such as Brandon King, Rovman Powell, Odean Smith, Chadwick Walton and Fabian Allen are set to join for the next set of practice games next week.