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DHAKA, Bangladesh – Kieran Powell appeared willing to take things in stride following his second Test hundred for West Indies.
The lanky, languid left-hander from Nevis struck 117 to set the tone for the Windies batting on the opening day of the first Test against Bangladesh at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium here.
Powell and veteran, fellow left-hander Shivnarine Chanderpaul, undefeated on 123, sharing 125 for the fourth wicket, to lead the visitors to 361 for four in their first innings at the close.
He later deflected questions about becoming a permanent fixture at the top of the West Indies order.
“I can’t say if I am going ahead of anyone, you will have to ask the selectors,” said the soft-spoken Powell.
“All I could say is that I am trying to strengthen my case for a place in the team each and every day we play.”
He added: “The more runs I score, the easier it will be for me. I just try to control what I can control.
“I was planning on scoring a hundred in this series, which I have now achieved. I will have to reassess my goals for the series and see what else I can achieve.”
The 22-year-old Powell scored his maiden hundred against New Zealand last July at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua.
He similarly shared a significant stand with Chris Gayle during that innings and was asked to compare the two and batting with the two senior pros.
“Two totally different types of surfaces and bowling attacks, so I don’t think the two innings are comparable, but I think this was a good hundred nonetheless,” he said.
“I regretted the way I was dismissed. It was a misjudgement in the length of the delivery. I thought it was a bit shorter than it actually turned out to be.”
Powell said: “Batting with any senior player is easy. Shiv has got lots of experience. He has played 145 Tests, so he takes the pressure off you and allows you to play your game.
“He constantly reminded me to be patient, stay positive, rotate the strike, put away the bad balls and play straight – reinforcing the basics.”
He continued: “Chris is more of a power player and Shiv is a manipulator of the ball. With Chris, you know you have to give him the strike and keep him flowing, and with Shiv you know you can manoeuvre the ball and build a steady partnership.”
Powell said neither the condition nor the tactics of the Bangladeshis, who chose to open the bowling with newly-minted Test off-spinner Sohag Gazi caught him off guard.
“Early in the day, the pitch was a bit soft, but it started to play evenly as the day wore on,” he said.
“We expected a lot of spin in Bangladesh, so we were not completely surprised that they started with a spinner. As an international player, you have to prepare your mind for anything.
“I thought [Gazi] bowled some good areas initially, but once I started to understand his bowling action, it became a bit easier for me to score.”
Powell concluded that West Indies had made a grand start to the Test and would be looking to reinforce their position on Wednesday’s second day.
“I think we won this day,” he said. “Two of us got hundreds, 350-plus runs on the board, only four wickets down, I think we are in a commanding position to press on for an impregnable total.
“Generally, we look at 400 in the first innings, but 500 runs plus would be an excellent first innings total for us.”