West Indies v India, 2nd Test, Bridgetown, 1st day June 28, 2011

Rampaul hopes for turnaround


Kemar Roach is on the bench. Jerome Taylor is in Jamaica. Andre Russell can't get in to the squad. Darren Sammy is a work-horse and his critics say he upsets the balance of the attack. And yet, West Indies bowlers have bowled their heart out in this series and have put their team on top nearly every time. Tuesday was no different.

Later in the evening, the local radio crackled in anger. On two different stations, on two different cricket shows, the callers lashed out against the batsmen as, by stumps, West Indies had lost three wickets for 30 after bowling out India for 201. There doesn't seem to be much hope in the Caribbean about the West Indies batsmen. "Oh, the seniors don't pull their weight. Oh, why did they drop Kraigg Brathwaite after just one Test. Surely, Lendl Simmons is not an opener? Why did they drop vice-captain Brendan Nash. Will Ramnaresh Sarwan score? When will Darren Bravo mature?" And on and on they went. The fans almost seem like they're expecting a batting collapse tomorrow. But nearly all of them had words of praise for the bowlers, who were good throughout.

Ravi Rampaul led from the front in the morning session with his ability to move the ball. He cut a few in, got some to straighten, slipped in the short balls and threatened to run through the line-up. The batsmen have let the bowlers down for a while now but Rampaul was hopeful of a turnaround. "I am not angry at the batsmen, I am sure they don't go there to get out," he said. "I give them confidence and keep the self-belief up as any time one of them can go out there and get a hundred. I continue to believe in them and give my support. We'd like to get a lead. We will probably look for 300 and take it from there."

Rampaul admitted the three quick wickets in the end did dent West Indies but hoped the pitch will ease up. "After lunch today, the wicket played really good for batting. As days go along it will become better for batting. Losing three wickets in 45 minutes did set us back; it's up to the batsmen to come out tomorrow and start fresh. The sun will dry out the wicket and it will become better. Hopefully we shall stick in there and put up a better performance."

Rampaul is fast developing into a thinking bowler and the leader of the pace attack. Often, Fidel Edwards was seen conversing with Rampaul on the field. Rampaul explained their roles: "Fidel is faster and more aggressive. I just try to keep it tight and let him do the attacking. I occasionally use short balls. I try to set up the batsmen if I see them come on the front foot. We know that Indian batsmen don't like short balls; so maybe I bowl them a bit more often."

The only criticism about Rampaul when he was moving the ball around was that he didn't make the batsmen play enough. "I wasn't hitting the right areas," Rampaul said. "The ball was swinging a lot and I think probably I could have hit the right areas and made them play. I need to be more consistent."

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dre on June 29, 2011, 23:46 GMT

    @Rakhil. If you calm down and decide to properly discuss cricket and its fans, you will realise that my point about Pujuara is not necessarily writing him off after one tour, it is pointing out that based on his 1st tour, YOU CANT EXPECT a "U" turn for this one. I didn't see anything in his first tour that would have suggested he would have been a much better pick than any of the young Ind batsmen on tour. He was checked then and I expect him to be checked a few more times before he comes good if at all. By the way, Sri Lanka is a part of the cricket circle, so our fellow cricket lover Lankan_right has every right to comment on ANY cricket article on cricinfo. By the way maddy20, I NEVER said I was Sri Lankan and Sri Lankas poor batting doesn't change the fact that both Ind and W.I. are also batting poorly. What that means is there r 3 teams batting poorly at the moment and as far as I am concerned, the standard of world cricket at the moment isn't of the highest quality.

  • V.L on June 29, 2011, 21:01 GMT

    @_NEUTRAL_Fan_ Well losing by 110 runs in a 32 Over game is excellent batting right? The current full strength SL team will be easily beaten by our bench team if they get a chance!

  • Dummy4 on June 29, 2011, 17:41 GMT

    @_Neutral_Fan : lolz so can a SriLankan can comment on Ind-WI match n tht nt on the topic but criticising Indian fans????I as an Indian fan wasnt talking blah blah abt India's future test batsman..I was replying to a comment from Tahir1234...well are you serious??India played only 3 tests in SA n u say Pujara got checked n u urself say one or 2 tours nt enf to test bench strength..dont assume arbitrarily...ven i say real bench that means India's younger players who r yet to get chances or those who are in the team(lyk Badri) are not getting chances or those who have made debuts bt nt playing ...Kohli,Raina n Vijay r already getting their chances...Raina has more or less secured his place for England tour..cant say the same abt Kohli n Vijay too...U talked abt all bt u r forgetting yet to be tested Ajinkya Rahane...check Emerging Players Tournament stats ..tht was played in Australia..Rahane was the highest scorer for India thr...

  • daniel on June 29, 2011, 15:22 GMT

    It must be noted that all three batsmen are from trinidad a note to all of them who seems to be blinded to the fact that the problem is not Darren Sammy. time to move pass the insularity as a caribbean.

  • Finn on June 29, 2011, 15:13 GMT

    The West Indies have a really talented group of players, many of whom are under 25 etc it's just picking the right XI and settling disputes with the board and above everything getting some self-belief and winning mentality. Their batsmen need to believe they can score big hundreds and set big totals, the bowlers are fine

  • Anil on June 29, 2011, 13:15 GMT


  • Hollis on June 29, 2011, 13:09 GMT

    Well said Ravi, an under 19 TT player and now a WI graduate. Not only your bowling improved tremendously, but also in terms of your maturity in conversing. Let's hope today, a couple of the batsmen come good and we get to 300 as you and skipper Sammy would like. I believe after one day of a test match , it's certainly not the appropriate time for the arm chair cricket generals to come down harshly and talk about changes . Instead, give full support now and rally around the team. I know it is very disappointing when young batsmen continue to make the same mistakes when they know they have a personal responsibility at test level to shape up, in consultation with the coach. Ravi's performance in both bowling and batting obviously is as a result of personal sacrifice , dedicated work, rigid fitness, using his brains, and seeking and listening to advice from his coach. The consequential results facilitate his well earned compensation and he earns the respect of all fans.

  • Roland on June 29, 2011, 12:55 GMT

    Edwards, Roach, Rampaul, Taylor, Russell, Bishoo.....I only see positives with this bowling attack.

    And thec"cupboard" has a few more quickies such as Gabriel from TT on the horizon and good young spinners.

    Two good keepers waiting in the wings along with Ramdin, who is only 25, so wicket keeping prospects look good.

    We just need to fix our batting.

  • Wala on June 29, 2011, 12:51 GMT

    Seriously is this test cricket. Theses stats (30/3) are not good enough even for ODI. Why do they allow WI to have test states. Even Bangladesh play better than this!!!!

  • o on June 29, 2011, 12:45 GMT

    people keep talking about second string indian side.. if it was a second string more than half the team would be players who couldnt make it in the final 11. I can't wait for the England and Australia series away from the Asain continent. Can't wait.

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