The eighth edition of the Caribbean Premier League will commence from 18 August, with all matches scheduled to be played in Trinidad and Tobago. Defending champions Barbados Tridents start their title defense against St Kitts and Nevis Patriots in the second game season. Led by West Indies’ red-ball skipper Jason Holder, the Tridents will be in the hunt for their third title this season. Having finished at 3, 1 and 2 in the first three seasons, the Tridents went through a little slump in the next three seasons before lifting the trophy in for the second time in 2019.

The Tridents signed one of the best T20 bowlers around – Rashid Khan, along with Marcus Stoinis, Johnson Charles and Nyeem Young. Among the drafted players, Alex Hales and Rahmanullah Gurbaz are some of the big names. However, Englishmen Alex Hales and Harry Gurney are set to miss the whole season, along with Marcus Stoinis and Rahmanullah Gurbaz.

Barbados tridents

Squad:

Retained: Jason Holder, Harry Gurney (Overseas) (Unavailable), Shai Hope, Hayden Walsh Jr, Ashley Nurse, Jonathan Carter, Raymon Reifer, Justin Greaves.

Signed: Rashid Khan (Overseas), Marcus Stoinis (Overseas) (Unavailable), Johnson Charles, Nyeem Young.

Drafted: Alex Hales (Overseas) (Unavailable), Kyle Mayers, Joshua Bishop, Rahmanullah Gurbaz (Overseas) (Unavailable), Shayan Jahangir (ICC Americas pick).

Replacements: Corey Anderson (Overseas), Mitchell Santner (Overseas), Shamarh Brooks, Keon Harding

[Also read – CPL 2020: All you need to know about Jamaica Tallawahs]

Strength and Weakness:

The biggest strength for Barbados Tridents has to be the number of multi-dimensional players they have. They are a team who can have an XI which can bat all the way through to number 11 and also have a minimum of 6-8 overs from the top 7.

With Alex Hales, Rahmanullah Gurbaz and Marcus Stoinis missing out, the top order has definitely taken a hit. And from a potential strongest top order, they have one of the weakest top orders in the tournament. Shai Hope has to open with Johnson Charles, with Shamarh Brooks coming in at 3. In place of Brooks they can also use all-rounder Kyle Mayers as a floater.

The middle order comprises of Corey Anderson, Jonathan Carter, Jason Holder and Nyeem Young. Anderson has not been in great touch off late and has not played much at this level in recent times. Carter is a reliable guy and will be the mainstay for the Tridents. The U-19 sensation Nyeem Young showed glimpses of what he can do in the U-19 World Cup and surely promises a lot.

He is followed by skipper Jason Holder, a proven customer with the bat. Rashid Khan, Mitchell Santner, Hayden Walsh Jr and Raymon Reifer can all tonk the ball with ease. While the top order does not inspire much confidence, the middle and lower middle order will have do to the bulk of the scoring.

A spin attack constituting Rashid Khan, Mitchell Santner, Hayden Walsh Jr and Ashley Nurse has to be one of the best, if not the best this season. the defending champions depend heavily on their spinners this season, which is capable of taking the side through to the play-offs.

Jason Holder

Pace bowling holds a decent look, but not threatening enough. Holder, Reifer and Young will be the frontline pacers with Mayers assisting with medium pace. Death bowling is going to be a weak spot and Barbados will find it tough closing out crunch games while defending. Harry Gurney is therefore going to be a big miss.

Probable First Choice Playing XI:

Johnson Charles, Shai Hope, Shamarh Brooks/ Kyle Mayers, Corey Anderson, Jonathan Carter, Jason Holder, Nyeem Young, Mitchell Santner, Rashid Khan, Hayden Walsh Jr, Raymon Reifer

Tournament Prediction:

The defending champions Barbados Tridents are a much weakened side with most of their first choice overseas recruits missing out. However, with the strong spin attack and a deep batting lineup, they might just sneak into the play-offs. But the road ahead of that will be tough. The title defense is very unlikely to be successful.