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September 24, 2011
Much has changed in West Indies cricket in the year since Denesh Ramdin last played a Test for them. Of the XI who started that game against South Africa in Barbados, only three others remain in the squad for next month's tour of Bangladesh.
With West Indies systematically losing their senior players either due to a lack of form, a lack of enthusiasm for the longer forms or a dispute with the board, Ramdin returns to the side as one of the most experienced players. He lost his place last year after a lean run in the home series against South Africa, making 34 runs from five ODIs and 63 runs in three Tests. It also cost him his central contract.
"I'm delighted to be back after a year out of cricket at the international level," he said on Saturday, just before Trinidad & Tobago started a lengthy training session in Bangalore. "I really worked hard on my game, this is really what I was waiting for. Hopefully I can put performances on the table."
His recall comes on the back of a successful domestic season with T&T, which he rounded off with a hundred and two fifties in his final three innings. "I was told I wasn't getting runs, so I went back home and, at the domestic level, I got a lot of runs. Think they are probably satisfied with that, that's why I am back."
He still faces competition from Carlton Baugh for a spot in the Test side, but is the first-choice keeper in limited-overs cricket. How has he kept himself motivated in his time away from the international scene? "Seeing my friends playing at the international level, I also wanted to get back there and play alongside them."
In almost all his international matches, he batted in the lower-middle order, something he wants to change in the years ahead. "Hopefully one day I will be opening the batting, be at the top of the order."
Still only 26, Ramdin was made West Indies vice-captain nearly three years ago, and could possibly have taken over as leader after Chris Gayle if he had maintained his form. Is that something he regrets? "No, I wasn't thinking about the captaincy, I didn't really get affected by anything like that. I was only concentrating on my own game."
Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfoFeeds: Siddarth Ravindran
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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