February 25, 2018

Windies selection still on Ramdin’s radar

By Akeem Greene

Former Windies Test captain Denesh Ramdin is still interested in playing for the Caribbean side should he be given the nod by the Courtney Browne-led by selection committee.
According to Ramdin in a recent exclusive interview with Guyana Times International Sport he was told by selectors to make runs and he answered that call by being the four-day championship’s second leading run-scorer. In ten matches in the 2017-18 season he had a tally of 799 runs at an average 61.46 including three centuries, four half centuries with a best knock of an unbeaten 132. Devon Smith led the charts with a record 1,095 runs.

The 32-year-old Trinidadian is still considered to be one of the better glove-men in the region

“If selected yeah; they told me I need to get runs and it’s just to continue to work towards that. Focus on my game and keep getting runs.”
While his native Trinidad and Tobago Red Force had an abysmal season, finishing bottom of the six-franchise points table, the right-handed batsman who was axed from Test captaincy in September 2015 after 15 months on the job, showed his imperious form.
“It was not a bad season; was decent but I still believe I could have gone unto get one more century and some more runs closer to the 1000-mark but hopefully I can learn from this since I gave away my wicket in a couple of matches,” the 32 year-old disclosed.
The wicketkeeper batsman, who took over the top spot from the long-serving Darren Sammy, led Windies in 13 Tests — winning four, losing seven and drawing two until current captain Jason Holder took over the mantle. As captain, he managed 472 runs at an average of 22, and a highest score of 57.
While Holder’s individual performances with bat and ball have gradually improved, his captaincy reign is suffering; the 21 matches in charge has come with four wins, thirteen losses and four draws (only series win came against Zimbabwe in 2017).
In the 50-over format, they have lost 34 matches with just 11 victories, which left the team battling for a spot at 2019 World Cup due to being relegated to qualifiers.
“The guys need to take the opportunity and play it more seriously; what we are lacking at the moment in the Test format is more experience and we saw that in New Zealand. The conditions are obviously different, they need to adapt quickly to international cricket,” contended the player who last wore the maroon cap in 2016.
Having played 74 Tests, 139 One Day Internationals and being the man behind the stumps in two winning World T20 teams (2012 & 2016), Ramdin feels the combination of technical flaws and players not grabbing their chances has caused the continued downfall.
“Good players can adapt to short bowling, cutting and pulling will help you last longer. In the 50-over format guys in the middle order need to get the good starts and carry-on and the bowling department picking-up wickets with the new-ball and closing off the innings.”
“We miss guys like [Sunil] Narine who would be able to pick up wickets in the middle but it is what it is, the selectors have a job to do and they try to pick the best possible team to go out there.”
While not occupying his usual position behind the stumps which gave the likes of Amir Jangoo and Steven Ketwaroo some glove time, the man they call “Shotta” will resume that role for the upcoming regional Super50, which according to him is another opportunity to press for re-call.