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

Rampaul hopes for turnaround

25

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

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ 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.

  • maddy20 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!

  • 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...

  • lastmanin 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.

  • Finn92 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

  • khiladisher on June 29, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    LOOKS LIKE INDIA WILL RULE THE WORLD CRICKET FOR AT LEAST NEXT 5-7 YEARS WITH THEIR BATTING SUPERIORITY AND THE BOWLING GETTING BETTER WITH EVERY OUTING. EVERY PROUD INDIAN SALUTES THE LEGENDS-SACHIN,SAURAV,DRAVID ,KUMBLE,LAXMAN,SEHWAG ,ZAHEER,GAMBHIR,DHONI ,YUVRAJ FOR MAKING US THE THE #1 TEST TEAM IN THE WORLD AND ALSO THE UNDISPUTED WORLD CAHMPIONS IN ODI CRICKET AND T-20 CRICKET.

  • Silloh 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.

  • TheLight 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.

  • WTEH 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!!!!

  • KNOW_D_GAME 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.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ 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.

  • maddy20 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!

  • 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...

  • lastmanin 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.

  • Finn92 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

  • khiladisher on June 29, 2011, 13:15 GMT

    LOOKS LIKE INDIA WILL RULE THE WORLD CRICKET FOR AT LEAST NEXT 5-7 YEARS WITH THEIR BATTING SUPERIORITY AND THE BOWLING GETTING BETTER WITH EVERY OUTING. EVERY PROUD INDIAN SALUTES THE LEGENDS-SACHIN,SAURAV,DRAVID ,KUMBLE,LAXMAN,SEHWAG ,ZAHEER,GAMBHIR,DHONI ,YUVRAJ FOR MAKING US THE THE #1 TEST TEAM IN THE WORLD AND ALSO THE UNDISPUTED WORLD CAHMPIONS IN ODI CRICKET AND T-20 CRICKET.

  • Silloh 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.

  • TheLight 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.

  • WTEH 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!!!!

  • KNOW_D_GAME 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.

  • JustIPL on June 29, 2011, 12:28 GMT

    @shashan and maddy. There is no doubt about the class of sachin, gauty, viru, dravid and laxman and they form the world's best batting lineup. Indian bowling has not much impacted but the batting department still needs thsee greats. Also we are taling about the world champions here and not about any other country. On the other hand we should not take credit away from windies who are also shaping up without gayle. Windy bowliing has been effective but batting is the problem. Dravid and Laxman have their impact pronouced on this series but what would have been the position without them.

  • concerned_cricketer on June 29, 2011, 12:22 GMT

    I am an indian fan but i really enjoyed what the west indies bowlers did yesterday. it was good to see them trouble the batsmen consistently and it also showed the great batsmen from the rest. I only wish we have more pitches like this in India (like the one in Ahmedabad in which we lost the test to saffers). What we want to watch is good contest between the bowlers and the batsmen, not always 400 plus or 500 plus scores. I am also enjoying what praveen and ishant are doing to the west indian batsmen.

  • _NEUTRAL_Fan_ on June 29, 2011, 12:11 GMT

    @Rakhil. One or two tours is not enough to fully assess one's bench strength I agree but lankan_style is right. Many Ind fans tend to overdo with the annoying bragging and many EXCUSES. Ind has been batting poorly FULL STOP. Raina,Kholi and Vijay have all been spotted as being to the top of the crop of Ind youngsters and your claims that this guy and that guy back in Ind would have been better is really far fetched. Vijay and Raina both have 100's in tests in the subcontinent and have both flopped at times when the ball moves. Raina has actually improved. I doubt any of Pujara or Rohit or Pandey (snicker) would have feared any better. Pujara actually got checked in SA too. The Indian quicks are actually bowling decently, they have performed well enough.

  • ZshanKhan on June 29, 2011, 11:21 GMT

    @Tahir1234: How about you try and focus on your Pakistani team. I'm sure they have more problems than a 2nd string Indian team.

  • on June 29, 2011, 11:02 GMT

    @Tahir1234 : exposed the bench strength lol ....BCCI selectors and our team management is befooling us and outside ppl lyk u..the real bench strength has not got chance...Vat I see is tht these r the real bech strength of India in test cricket : Pujara,Rahane,Badrinath,Manish Pandey,Mukund,Rohit etc...U can see among the 6 I named,noone except Mukund has got the chance to play this series...Pujara and Rahane have been our best India A's overseas players and lyk Badri who is the highest scorer in Ranji cricket they have been scoring heavily in domestic cricket too...Pujara is injured and a no.3 replacement player Rahane has not been picked so far by our selectors...Badrinath isnt given a chance by his CSK captain Dhoni to play this series vs WI so far where I see Badri to be a better player than Virat.Rohit and Manish Pandey r also scoring heavily in Domestic cricket n have good technique...U can say only 1 failure Mukung bt he is 21 only n has nt been on overseas tours bt he 'll learn

  • maddy20 on June 29, 2011, 9:25 GMT

    They asked for fast bouncy pitches AKA they asked for trouble. Even the second string bowling attack will be a handful for these guys! @Tahir We are playing without 2 frontline test match bowlers and 3 frontline batsmen(Sachin, Viru,Gambhir) and have still done better than a full strength Pakistani side. May be our friends accross the border should look at their own team first!

  • sawbo88 on June 29, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    West Indies bowling improvement has been a big part because of Gibson, (England bowling coach).All we need to consider now is as good of an assistant batting coach and we will be there

  • on June 29, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    @ Tahir1234 for your kind information this is not the best indian batting line up... there are young guns who need to mature... had there beeen sachin, sehwag, gambhir the scenario would have been completely different.... yuvi is grt aginst the pace attack.. he would have made the difference..... this is team is far better than the west indies team!!!!!!!!

  • indianzen on June 29, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    Indians do very well wherever they go and this is a sample... West "Indians" have got good bowlers too, but they cant withstand a depleted Indian Bowling attack...

  • VivGilchrist on June 29, 2011, 7:33 GMT

    Well done Ravi. I saw Ravi bowl in Australia two summers ago, and I couldn't believe he was actually picked to play Test cricket. He has improved so much and I'm glad he's proved me wrong. Rampaul, the very much improved Edwards, the still young Roach, and the yet to reach his full potential Taylor and WI has an awesome pace quartet that could be the envy of other teams for the next 5 years. Add the class of Bishoo plus the options of Sammy and Russel and the only thing that can possibly stop WI from heading upwards is there feeble batsmen.

  • JustIPL on June 29, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    Certainly, windies bowlers have got momentum from the Pakistan series and exposed the bench strength of the world champions. They have exposed the fragility of world champions' bating lineup and also highlighted the fact that number one spot is vulnerable and not as un-assailable when aussies or windies were on top. Off course toothless DRS without ball tracking is not going to save against lack of talent for long. So, focus should be in the middle and not on ICC politics.

  • yocasi on June 29, 2011, 7:13 GMT

    WICB has rightly copped a lot of flak, but they are turning the corner and need to stay the course now, especially on the question of player indiscipline. Any objective viewer would see that overall team performance and morale are better without Gayle and his reinclusion would probably lead to a return of the bad old days. If Sarwan doesn't stand up in this match, he should be shown the door too.As a senior batsman, he cocks up and then cries that he is missing Gayle.Let him go join his co-transgressor.The new team management, including cap'n Sammy, seems to be inculcating a new culture of hard work which is not sitting well with the old guard so let's move on from that era. In 1-2 years, we'll be a force to reckon with once again.

  • sanjeevmukherjee2006 on June 29, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    @Shazly Oowise dont worry about WI or india cause it is india's b team, btw worry about ur lankans who cant score even 200 odd runs in an odi

  • Sumeet.Gupta on June 29, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    The most improved WI bowler in the last couple of years. Way to go Ravi!

  • on June 29, 2011, 5:32 GMT

    Congrats from Sri Lanka!!!! from day one i beleived in him it was the WICB who did not. .So he has proved himself let rallyround the team and support the guys...they will def win this....

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  • on June 29, 2011, 5:32 GMT

    Congrats from Sri Lanka!!!! from day one i beleived in him it was the WICB who did not. .So he has proved himself let rallyround the team and support the guys...they will def win this....

  • Sumeet.Gupta on June 29, 2011, 6:07 GMT

    The most improved WI bowler in the last couple of years. Way to go Ravi!

  • sanjeevmukherjee2006 on June 29, 2011, 7:03 GMT

    @Shazly Oowise dont worry about WI or india cause it is india's b team, btw worry about ur lankans who cant score even 200 odd runs in an odi

  • yocasi on June 29, 2011, 7:13 GMT

    WICB has rightly copped a lot of flak, but they are turning the corner and need to stay the course now, especially on the question of player indiscipline. Any objective viewer would see that overall team performance and morale are better without Gayle and his reinclusion would probably lead to a return of the bad old days. If Sarwan doesn't stand up in this match, he should be shown the door too.As a senior batsman, he cocks up and then cries that he is missing Gayle.Let him go join his co-transgressor.The new team management, including cap'n Sammy, seems to be inculcating a new culture of hard work which is not sitting well with the old guard so let's move on from that era. In 1-2 years, we'll be a force to reckon with once again.

  • JustIPL on June 29, 2011, 7:24 GMT

    Certainly, windies bowlers have got momentum from the Pakistan series and exposed the bench strength of the world champions. They have exposed the fragility of world champions' bating lineup and also highlighted the fact that number one spot is vulnerable and not as un-assailable when aussies or windies were on top. Off course toothless DRS without ball tracking is not going to save against lack of talent for long. So, focus should be in the middle and not on ICC politics.

  • VivGilchrist on June 29, 2011, 7:33 GMT

    Well done Ravi. I saw Ravi bowl in Australia two summers ago, and I couldn't believe he was actually picked to play Test cricket. He has improved so much and I'm glad he's proved me wrong. Rampaul, the very much improved Edwards, the still young Roach, and the yet to reach his full potential Taylor and WI has an awesome pace quartet that could be the envy of other teams for the next 5 years. Add the class of Bishoo plus the options of Sammy and Russel and the only thing that can possibly stop WI from heading upwards is there feeble batsmen.

  • indianzen on June 29, 2011, 7:56 GMT

    Indians do very well wherever they go and this is a sample... West "Indians" have got good bowlers too, but they cant withstand a depleted Indian Bowling attack...

  • on June 29, 2011, 8:27 GMT

    @ Tahir1234 for your kind information this is not the best indian batting line up... there are young guns who need to mature... had there beeen sachin, sehwag, gambhir the scenario would have been completely different.... yuvi is grt aginst the pace attack.. he would have made the difference..... this is team is far better than the west indies team!!!!!!!!

  • sawbo88 on June 29, 2011, 9:19 GMT

    West Indies bowling improvement has been a big part because of Gibson, (England bowling coach).All we need to consider now is as good of an assistant batting coach and we will be there

  • maddy20 on June 29, 2011, 9:25 GMT

    They asked for fast bouncy pitches AKA they asked for trouble. Even the second string bowling attack will be a handful for these guys! @Tahir We are playing without 2 frontline test match bowlers and 3 frontline batsmen(Sachin, Viru,Gambhir) and have still done better than a full strength Pakistani side. May be our friends accross the border should look at their own team first!