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In-form Powell eyes short format

CHARLESTOWN – After a successful year in Tests, West Indies opener Kieran Powell says he hopes to convert that form into the game’s shortest format when the Caribbean Twenty20 bowls off next month.

Kieran Powell.

The 22-year-old left-hander stroked three Test centuries this year – including two in one game against Bangladesh – to emerge as one of the key batsmen in the regional side.

However, Powell now faces the challenge of switching focus but is confident he can successfully make the transition when he turns out for Leeward Islands.

“I think I can make the adjustment in any format of the game. Once I train hard and do the basics, I can transfer my form from the longer formats to the T20 format and that gives me a chance of getting a big score,” said Powell, who has been named Leewards’ vice-captain.

“I’m in a really good frame of mind at the moment and I’m focussing on continuing my success. It was a really rewarding year for me with the bat at the top of the order. I batted well for West Indies this year and I want to continue for the Leewards.”

Powell showed signs of imminent form when he stroked a century against England Lions on the West Indies’ wretched tour of England earlier this year, and eventually came to the fore with his maiden Test century against New Zealand at the Vivian Richards Stadium in the first Test of the two-match series.

He then plundered hundreds in each innings of the first Test against Bangladesh, becoming the ninth West Indian and the first in 11 years to achieve the feat.

Powell, who now averages 32 from 13 Tests, credited his improvement to his stint at the West Indies High Performance Centre where he said he reinvented himself.

“The time at the HPC has totally changed my game. It has been a massive boost to my cricket. It has helped me with both the technical side and mental side of my game,” he pointed out.

“It has helped to refine my game and overall I am now a calmer person. A lot of things I developed there I put into place, and I was able to assess the situation and go about the business of building an innings.

“There was a time I used to go in and look to play all the shots and see how many (runs) I could get. All that has changed now. I’m more settled and aware of my role. I look back at the time I spent at the Sagicor HPC and realise the changes I made in my game. I can truly say I learned a lot in the two years there and I will look to kick on and get bigger scores for the West Indies,” he asserted

Looking ahead to the January 6-20 CT20 in Trinidad and St Lucia, Powell backed the Leewards’ chances, especially with the new format. They open their campaign against Barbados on the second night of the tournament.

“The good thing this season is we have more matches, so even if you lose early you’re not in a desperate situation you still have a chance to make up … you have a chance to make a greater impact,” Powell explained.

“I like the look of our team and I like our chances. We have impact players and I can see us going deep into the tournament,” he added.†††

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