England v West Indies, 3rd Test, Edgbaston, 4th day

Ramdin's message to Sir Viv

ESPNcricinfo presents the plays of the day from the fourth day at Edgbaston

George Dobell at Edgbaston

June 10, 2012

Comments: 39 | Text size: A | A

Tino Best is chased after removing Andrew Strauss, England v West Indies, 3rd Test, Edgbaston, 4th day, June 10, 2012
The Best man: Tino Best followed his wonderful innings with a fiery spell against Andrew Strauss © Getty Images
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Statement of the day

When Denesh Ramdin completed the second Test century of a career that has, to date, promised somewhat more than he has delivered, he celebrated in unusual fashion. He dropped his bat and produced a piece of paper from his pocket which contained a pointed message to Sir Viv Richards. "Yea Viv talk nah" it read; a reaction to some criticism Richards had made of Ramdin's recent performances. "He has deteriorated in such a big way," Richards was reported as saying before this game. Viv was distinctly underwhelmed by Ramdin's statement. "That innings was a long time coming," he told the BBC. "If you are given enough chances then you will get it done." He went on to suggest that Ramdin's innings did not come in a pressure situation: "This was in a losing cause. If, in a football match, you are losing 5-0 and then score a goal in the last minute, you would not jump for joy. I set my standards a little higher."

England's record of the day

When Andrew Strauss ran back from slip to cling on to a top edge from Tino Best, there was a sigh right around Edgbaston. Few around the ground would have resented Best a Test century. But it was also a wicket that equalled the record for the most Test catches by an England player. England's captain, playing his 97th Test, has now claimed as many catches as Ian Botham, who played 102 Tests but fielded in five fewer innings. It was a timely reminder of the contribution Strauss makes to this England team in addition to his batting and his captaincy. If the last couple of days have taught England anything, it is that the importance of reliable slip fielders cannot be over stated. http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/records/fielding/most_catches_career.html?class=1;id=1;type=team Later Kevin Pietersen also drew level with Ian Botham's tally of sixes hit in Test cricket. Both men have now hit 67, though Pietersen has played 87 Tests. Andrew Flintoff, with 78 sixes from his 78 Tests, is the only Englishman to have hit more. http://stats.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/records/283122.html

Best moment

There were so many enjoyable moments in Best's innings: the way he held the pose after a stroke - whether he had connected or not - and some of the exuberant shots he played. But perhaps the most joyful moment of them all came when Best reached his 50: the uninhibited celebrations, the punching of the air, the roars of delight: he could not have appeared more happy had he won the lottery on the day he cured cancer. And why not? With a Test batting average under 10 and a gap of all but three years since his last Test, this was a day that few could thought they would see. Best went on to record the highest score by a No. 11 in the history of Test cricket in one of the most unlikely passages of play in modern times.

Second Best moment It is hard not to warm to him. Anyone who has an answerphone message that states "You're through to Tino Best, fastest bowler in the world; can't take your call, I'm training to be even faster," simply cannot be all bad. He is certainly entertaining: blessed with exhilarating pace, he made Strauss look most uncomfortable - not least with a thigh high full toss that Strauss seemed to lose completely - and eventually removed a rattled-looking England captain through an unusually poor flash outside off stump. It was Best's first Test wicket since July 10, 2009. Whether he remains the man - or one of the men - West Indies require to help them build a brighter future remains to be seen. But while he is involved, life is sure to be entertaining.

Drop of the day

History may recall that Sunil Narine endured a slightly disappointing Test debut. Much vaunted - unfairly, really - despite the fact that he had played just six first-class games and confronted with some decent batsmen and an unforgiving surface, he struggled to find the right length and was punished for more than four-and-a-half an over. He enjoyed no fortune, however. Had Adrian Barath, rising too early at short leg and failing to cling on to a tough chance, held on to a catch offered by Ian Bell on 20, perhaps the day may have ended differently. As it is, Narine remains a very talented, very raw bowler. Marlon Samuels out-bowled him here.

Shot of the day

There were many memorable strokes played on day four of this Test. While Bell's late cut for four off Ravi Rampaul - a stroke that was played with power, precision and grace - was possibly not the most memorable, it was, arguably, the most beautiful. Whatever Bell's travails over the winter and whatever his fortunes in the future, there is little doubt that he times the ball with a grace given to very few.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by JG2704 on (June 12, 2012, 15:44 GMT)

@Somerset-Richard on (June 11 2012, 09:27 AM GMT) By the same token , do you not think Viv could have responded a bit better ? To call a 100 meaningless is totally unhelpful. He might be the greatest batsman of the last 40 years but I didn't notice one remark of an encouraging note by Viv for Ramdin

Posted by   on (June 12, 2012, 5:59 GMT)

Good luck ramdin for future and you are the best wkb !

Posted by   on (June 11, 2012, 15:04 GMT)

I would love to see Ramdin go on to great things. He is still young and can contribute to the development of WI cricket. I celebrate this joyous moment with him, but I have to say his reaction to Viv was not appropriate. As a public person he has to expect to be criticized, and One should let those criticism motivate them to do better. I hope Ramdin mature more from hereon, both as a cricketer, and an individual who can take a deserved criticism.

Posted by   on (June 11, 2012, 13:34 GMT)

i think the criticism is something good. it seemed to motivated ramdin to bat long. i hope this is just not a one time thing and he continues getting scores like this. a little "war" among veteran players and young ones are good. i think it's a good learning process for ramdin. best of luck.....

Posted by stanlee on (June 11, 2012, 13:30 GMT)

Ramdin's comments reveal a player who has been under enormous pressure for some time.He has been in and out of the team-his fault admittedly-but the bigger issue is Richards' selective criticism of only certain players.Additionally Richards' 'outbursts on and off the cricket field have been well documented.It doesn't excuse Ramdin's behavior but Richards went beyond the pale and his criticism of the player bordered on the personal-hardly the role of an objective analyst.As if to prove my point even in his response to Ramdin's century, his comments were rather negative.Past accomplishments of the former great does not give him the right to be destructive from the safety of the press box.I would say that he got a dose of his own well documented medicine.

Posted by jmcilhinney on (June 11, 2012, 13:23 GMT)

@Hari Prasanth on (June 11 2012, 09:45 AM GMT), surely it's a responsibility to from the box. That's what they're in the box for. It's not really a professional commentators job to arbitrarily give advice to a team or team member. I don't know all the facts but, from what I've heard, the WI board and coaching staff aren't really all that keen to have some of the old players around the team. Maybe they figure too many strong influences may make it harder to keep order. Regardless, I'm sure Ramdin has heard Richards criticise other players, both from WI and elsewhere, so why should he take it so personally now, given that he wasn't performing? Has he got a note for whoever dropped him from the team last time? The note was a childish move, plain and simple. If someone criticises your batting, answer with your batting.

Posted by   on (June 11, 2012, 9:45 GMT)

Remember it is easy to talk from the box. One needs to know about the team which has a long tail and Ramdin comes at the end and has to bat with the tail. Ramdin is not a player like Dhoni, Sangakara, Boucher, Gilly or Brendon. He plays within himself so you can`t expect much from him. One can say he is capable in flat track and not in seaming or bouncy pitches. So, who ever may be if you want a player or a team to do well go there and speak to them offer them advice give them some tips rather than commenting publicly.The people who criticize don`t go voluntarliy to give tips instead they want others to come up to them. When time available people like Akram, Kumble,go to the needy to give tips. Remember not everyone can take criticism including the so called greats.

Posted by Somerset-Richard on (June 11, 2012, 9:27 GMT)

Lets put this into perspective, shall we? Firstly well done Denesh Ramdin on scoring your second test century in your 45th test match. Well done also on improving your test batting average above the 22 point something, where it previously stood, all on a day when your partner, a number 11 batsman, narrowly missed out on his own century. Sir Vivian Richards, one of the all time great test cricketers, who has seen them all come and go over the last 40 years, has earned the right to express an opinion (in fact an encouraging and positive one) about a player who has failed so far to live up to expectations. Hopefully Ramdin will realise that this was unnecessarily disrespectful to a widely respected and much loved man, and publicly offer the apology that Sir Viv is due. Well done Tino Best! Your joyous and smiling performance was a reminder of how West Indian cricket used to be played, back in the days when we Poms could only look on and admire!

Posted by JG2704 on (June 11, 2012, 7:13 GMT)

To be honest - and I'm a big Viv fan and he comes across extremely well on the radio - I think Viv could have given Ramdin a bit more credit for the century. Ramdin came in when WI were 152-5 and surely at that point Eng would have fancied their chances of dismissing WI for around 220-230 and before close on Saturday. Surely the fact that WI scored another 270 runs while Ramdin was there and took the WI from a distinct possibility of another defeat to a position of superiority in a game which will likely fade to a draw suggests that Ramdin at least hypothetically scored an equalizer rather than a consolation goal when 5-0 down. I'm not saying Viv should have withdrawn his criticism but he could have said something like "Well done sir , now please continue to prove me wrong" . I hope Ramdin doesn't get fined or reprimanded too badly.

Posted by   on (June 11, 2012, 6:18 GMT)

fantastic one from ramdin....as a young player he looks upto viv and instead of helping fellow countrymen by giving some encouragement viv goes on air saying ramdin has nothing to offer...must have hurt ramdin..

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