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Walton wants to be better for Tallawahs

Published:Friday | June 19, 2015 | 12:00 AMLeighton Levy
Chadwick Walton (left) with Jamaica Tallawahs teammates, André Russell (centre) and Nikita Miller.

Chadwick Walton enjoyed a decent season opening for the Jamaica Tallawahs in last year's Caribbean Premier League T20 competition. The right-handed wicketkeeper and batsman scored 266 runs at a strike rate of 112.71 during the last campaign and was the second highest scorer for the Tallawahs behind Chris Gayle's 363 runs. This year, he wants to be even better.

"Last year was a pretty decent season. I wouldn't say it was good because we didn't bring home the cup, but I have learnt a lot, so I am hoping to improve this season and go one better and see if I can actually bring home the cup this year," he said during a media session with team members on Tuesday.

Walton, whose top score last year was the 53 he scored against the Guyana Amazon Warriors, said he wants to win more games for the Tallawahs and that means batting a little deeper into the 20 overs and providing greater support for the big-hitting Gayle. Among the key areas that need improvement, he said, was the rate at which he and Gayle rotated the strike. Overall, the Tallawahs were poor at rotating strike averaging about 45.7 dot balls per inning or almost eight overs off which they were unable to score. That resulted in the team averaging about 134 runs per inning.

Scoring singles

Under the guidance of newly appointed head coach Junior Bennett, they are already working to remedy that situation.

"We have been doing some work in the nets, as in playing for singles. We'll see how that plays out in the games," said Walton, who hit 12 sixes during the competition last season, half of what Gayle clubbed in the 10 games the latter played. "I wouldn't compare myself to Chris as a big hitter. I am nowhere near Chris, but last year, we had a lot of dot balls, and we will be looking to reduce the dot balls and move our scores up from the 140s and 150s to the 170s."

Opening with Gayle, arguably the best T20 batsman in the world, Walton said, has been an interesting experience.

"Sometimes, you are a little scared at the other end because you don't want him to hit it back at you, you have to keep your eyes open, but it's been a really nice experience," said Walton, who turns 30 on July 3.

The Tallawahs open their season playing away to defending champions Barbados Tridents on June 23.