May 10, 2014

Ramdin wears the thorny crown

The new West Indies captain is known to be an astute tactician. But without any standout players at his disposal, his job remains just as hard as it was for his predecessor, Darren Sammy
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Denesh Ramdin has been at the core of West Indies cricket long enough to be aware of the complexities he must confront as the new Test captain. History, ancient and modern, reveals that he is inheriting a potential poisoned chalice. He has observed from close proximity the misgivings that were a constant companion to Darren Sammy - whom he now replaces at the helm - through his three and a half years in the job.

Ramdin's own career has been a bemusing roller-coaster ride: first-choice wicketkeeper and vice-captain at its peak, ignored on the downslides whenever his batting, not his keeping, fell away.

He was harshly criticised, by the players' association and his Trinidad & Tobago board among others, for his bizarre gesture of displaying a defiant message from the middle to a critical Sir Viv Richards on completing a hundred at Edgbaston in 2012. In the Champions Trophy last year, he was suspended for two matches for claiming a bump-ball catch against Pakistan, in spite of maintaining that it was an innocent mistake.

For all that, his reputation as an astute tactician has been long recognised. He led the West Indies Under-19s to the World Cup final in Bangladesh in 2004, later captained the A team, is the current T&T skipper, and was Sammy's most recent deputy.

His promotion comes just when he is at the top of his game, a significant advantage.

For two years, between 2010 and 2012, the diminutive Jamaican Carlton Baugh filled the keeper's spot in Tests and ODIs after a Ramdin batting slump. Devon Thomas, a young Antiguan, was brought in for the 2011 World Cup and an ODI series in Australia without fulfilling expectations.

Since Ramdin's return to the Test team in 2012, his forthright approach has earned him an average of 44.29 in 14 matches, with three hundreds and three fifties.They are numbers to stack up against the best of the contemporary keepers: MS Dhoni, Brad Haddin and Matt Prior. His 128 from 109 balls, with six five sixes and 12 fours against England was the highest in ODIs by a West Indian keeper. It confirmed his new self-belief.

While he personally is having the time of his life, West Indies cricket is at its lowest ebb. The refrain from disenchanted fans, and some former players, is to recall the glory days when West Indies dominated the world game under Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards. They ring incessantly in the ears of the current generation. The chorus reminds them that their predecessors went 15 consecutive series during the 1990s without losing one, goading them that for the past decade and more they have languished near the bottom of the ICC ratings.

The era when the captaincy went only to well-connected white amateurs has long passed. In the age of meritocracy, even great players like Garry Sobers and Brian Lara have been pilloried for their unconventional leadership. Lara quit twice. The pressures at the top prompted Shivnarine Chanderpaul to step aside, and Courtney Walsh was shunted back into the ranks.

The captaincy tested Sammy and will undoubtedly test Ramdin.

The state of West Indies cricket at the time of Sammy's appointment in October 2010 was no better than it is at his departure.

When Dwayne Bravo, the favourite to succeed Chris Gayle, preferred the life of a free agent rather than to be constrained by a WICB retainer contract, Sammy was the only alternative. In other circumstances, the job would have been Ramdin's. He had then played 42 consecutive Tests. The problem was that while the selectors mulled over Gayle's successor, Ramdin was not in the team, having been replaced by Baugh as his scores tapered off. So Sammy it was.

It is doubtful whether the recent record would have been any better whoever the captain was. Sammy simply led teams that were a match only for New Zealand, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. Sobers and Lara too had earlier discovered that even with their presence in weak teams it was impossible to squeeze blood out of stone.

Ramdin can expect a similar experience as no outstanding new players have come forward, while others have gone backwards. His first two series as leader, at home against New Zealand and Bangladesh, at least offer some relief before other, far more taxing ones, against South Africa, England and Australia, follow.

Sammy won't be involved. Predictably, he has now retired from Test cricket. He remains captain of the T20 team that won the World T20 in 2012, got as far as the semis this year, and can hold its own against any opposition. That is now his niche, as a specialist, six-hitting finisher. That ability is likely to help him maintain his place in the 50-overs format.

Whatever his Test record, Sammy made a universal reputation as what Ramdin described at the handover as "a very humble and hard-working cricketer [who] gave his all to the job". WICB president Dave Cameron described Sammy's leadership as "energetic and resolute". The reality is that he didn't qualify as an authentic allrounder. As such, the misgivings always concerned whether or not he merited a place in the Test XI.

The obvious rejoinder was that Bravo was the only other option and he was committed to T20 franchise teams. Presumably, now that he has accepted the WICB contract, he will return for the first time since 2010 to take Sammy's responsibility of batting at No. 6 and bowling medium-pace swing in Tests.

In the end, Sammy himself recognised that his time was up. After the drubbings in the recent series in India and New Zealand, and a year in which his batting average in seven Tests was 21.9 and his eight wickets cost 49.87 each, he acknowledged that "some careers are on the line; could be mine as well".

While his returns in Tests verified his prediction, Sammy leaves that version with appreciation for his wholehearted commitment to West Indies, even from those who were never persuaded that he was quite good enough as a player.

Now it's Ramdin's turn to come under the microscope.

Tony Cozier has written about and commentated on cricket in the Caribbean for 50 years

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | May 14, 2014, 1:53 GMT

    Sammy gave the impression that he was a fantastic person. When he started, he appeared too polite, too obedient to the coach, and unsure of his decision making authority. But in my eyes, Sammy gradually grew in stature and the T20 WC win was a testimonial to his leadership skills. I also remember a test vs INDIA where Sammy bowled unchanged for close to 35 overs and didn't let INDIA take the game away from the West Indies. This fighting spirit was unbelievable and showed the real strong character of the man - a man who put his health at risk to save his country's pride. I only wish that the likes of Gayle, Bravo and Samuels had contributed to their potential when they played under him. Had they done so, his record - at least as a captain- would've been much better. I'm sure he will go on to being a terrific coach.

  • POSTED BY rayinto on | May 13, 2014, 3:30 GMT

    When will Sarwan return from the wilderness to lead West Indies after being banished by coach Gibson?

  • POSTED BY kentjones on | May 13, 2014, 1:35 GMT

    @Gerry_the_Merry, |Maybe what you said sounds funny, but I am not laughing though. Or maybe it is an innocent quip poking fun at the team structure, but I cant appreciate it and I am not seeing the funny side. Could you be so kind to refrain from such remarks, in the interest of the game in WI? Thanks a lot man...

  • POSTED BY inswing on | May 12, 2014, 18:44 GMT

    Captain is irrelevant, what WI needs is better batsmen. Gayle is starting to decline and is injury prone, Chandra is likely over the hill. None of the young batsmen are in that class. Bowling is decent, but without a solid top 4 Ramdin is not going to do much better than Sammy.

  • POSTED BY on | May 12, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    Good luck to Ramdin. Cricket is better off with a strong West Indies, not (I'm afraid) that I see that happening any time soon. One thing WICB could do at little cost is sort out the pitches. What happened to those quick true pitches which encouraged the likes of Holding, Marshall Roberts etc? They also encouraged West Indian stroke play (not the same as slogging).

    I think Sammy did a good unifying job on the team, but was never really worth his place in the test team as a player (he is worth his place in the limited overs teams as a player). i think he's done the right thing by retiring as a test player.

  • POSTED BY Speng on | May 12, 2014, 12:52 GMT

    Very short term goal is to beat NZ in the next series. Since we last played them in the WI the Kiwis have come along leaps and bounds in Tests so if we can beat them it will show some progress by the Windies. It's going to be tough though.

    Our best tow fast bowlers (Roach and Rampaul) have been injury prone and haven't played much and the young guns haven't necessarily shown much at test level. I would carry two spinners against the Kiwis on any WI pitch because it is still a Kiwi weakness - good for us the we have good spinners but will the selectors man up?

    Batting-wise I think Jr Bravo, Chanders, Gayle and Samuels can be pencilled in but to be honest neither Samuels or Gayle has been impressing recently. The WI need to have a couple younger batsmen in the squad as C,G, and S aren't going to play forever.

    In the longer term it's going to be up to more than the captain to move WI cricket along...

  • POSTED BY android_user on | May 12, 2014, 12:18 GMT

    sarwan & Bravo senior should be in test team Gayle..Sarwan.Bravo.samules.Chanpul.Bravo.Ramdin.Holder.Narine.j.teylor.shillingford

  • POSTED BY mahjut on | May 12, 2014, 11:30 GMT

    "Roach, Taylor, Holder/Rampaul , Miller, Doenarine/Bravo , Ramdin, + any 5 batsmen ..."

    I reckon that looks like a decent attack to work with ... so who are the five bats: maybe Gayle/Braithwaite, Powell then Bravo, Sarwan and Chanders and that looks a decent batting line-up too.

    Though Chanders, Sarwan and Gayle are all pushing mid-30s now

  • POSTED BY dogandbone on | May 12, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    be good to see the best WI players available to take on the likes of NZ....one hopes Gayle is fit by the time the tests come around. Am looking forward to his 100th test appearance. Great milestone for any player.

  • POSTED BY Cool_Jeeves on | May 12, 2014, 4:42 GMT

    Better call it Indies, with very few African descent players in the team now.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | May 14, 2014, 1:53 GMT

    Sammy gave the impression that he was a fantastic person. When he started, he appeared too polite, too obedient to the coach, and unsure of his decision making authority. But in my eyes, Sammy gradually grew in stature and the T20 WC win was a testimonial to his leadership skills. I also remember a test vs INDIA where Sammy bowled unchanged for close to 35 overs and didn't let INDIA take the game away from the West Indies. This fighting spirit was unbelievable and showed the real strong character of the man - a man who put his health at risk to save his country's pride. I only wish that the likes of Gayle, Bravo and Samuels had contributed to their potential when they played under him. Had they done so, his record - at least as a captain- would've been much better. I'm sure he will go on to being a terrific coach.

  • POSTED BY rayinto on | May 13, 2014, 3:30 GMT

    When will Sarwan return from the wilderness to lead West Indies after being banished by coach Gibson?

  • POSTED BY kentjones on | May 13, 2014, 1:35 GMT

    @Gerry_the_Merry, |Maybe what you said sounds funny, but I am not laughing though. Or maybe it is an innocent quip poking fun at the team structure, but I cant appreciate it and I am not seeing the funny side. Could you be so kind to refrain from such remarks, in the interest of the game in WI? Thanks a lot man...

  • POSTED BY inswing on | May 12, 2014, 18:44 GMT

    Captain is irrelevant, what WI needs is better batsmen. Gayle is starting to decline and is injury prone, Chandra is likely over the hill. None of the young batsmen are in that class. Bowling is decent, but without a solid top 4 Ramdin is not going to do much better than Sammy.

  • POSTED BY on | May 12, 2014, 13:40 GMT

    Good luck to Ramdin. Cricket is better off with a strong West Indies, not (I'm afraid) that I see that happening any time soon. One thing WICB could do at little cost is sort out the pitches. What happened to those quick true pitches which encouraged the likes of Holding, Marshall Roberts etc? They also encouraged West Indian stroke play (not the same as slogging).

    I think Sammy did a good unifying job on the team, but was never really worth his place in the test team as a player (he is worth his place in the limited overs teams as a player). i think he's done the right thing by retiring as a test player.

  • POSTED BY Speng on | May 12, 2014, 12:52 GMT

    Very short term goal is to beat NZ in the next series. Since we last played them in the WI the Kiwis have come along leaps and bounds in Tests so if we can beat them it will show some progress by the Windies. It's going to be tough though.

    Our best tow fast bowlers (Roach and Rampaul) have been injury prone and haven't played much and the young guns haven't necessarily shown much at test level. I would carry two spinners against the Kiwis on any WI pitch because it is still a Kiwi weakness - good for us the we have good spinners but will the selectors man up?

    Batting-wise I think Jr Bravo, Chanders, Gayle and Samuels can be pencilled in but to be honest neither Samuels or Gayle has been impressing recently. The WI need to have a couple younger batsmen in the squad as C,G, and S aren't going to play forever.

    In the longer term it's going to be up to more than the captain to move WI cricket along...

  • POSTED BY android_user on | May 12, 2014, 12:18 GMT

    sarwan & Bravo senior should be in test team Gayle..Sarwan.Bravo.samules.Chanpul.Bravo.Ramdin.Holder.Narine.j.teylor.shillingford

  • POSTED BY mahjut on | May 12, 2014, 11:30 GMT

    "Roach, Taylor, Holder/Rampaul , Miller, Doenarine/Bravo , Ramdin, + any 5 batsmen ..."

    I reckon that looks like a decent attack to work with ... so who are the five bats: maybe Gayle/Braithwaite, Powell then Bravo, Sarwan and Chanders and that looks a decent batting line-up too.

    Though Chanders, Sarwan and Gayle are all pushing mid-30s now

  • POSTED BY dogandbone on | May 12, 2014, 5:33 GMT

    be good to see the best WI players available to take on the likes of NZ....one hopes Gayle is fit by the time the tests come around. Am looking forward to his 100th test appearance. Great milestone for any player.

  • POSTED BY Cool_Jeeves on | May 12, 2014, 4:42 GMT

    Better call it Indies, with very few African descent players in the team now.

  • POSTED BY tpjpower on | May 12, 2014, 4:00 GMT

    The WI have all the makings of a strong side - one that could compete with the middle-ranking teams, at least. In Gayle, Samuels and Chanders they have a core of experienced batsmen. Junior Bravo, Powell, Barath and Brathwaite are promising young players. With a bowling attack built around Roach, Narine and Shilly, they should be able to field a decent line-up (at least on paper). If only they could play to potential.

  • POSTED BY Nerk on | May 12, 2014, 2:49 GMT

    The Windies have the raw talent going around the team to do really well. They have two genuine spinners, a couple of good pace bowlers (Roach is world class) and the batsmen all have the ability to be great. It is a matter of translating that talent and potential into victory, something that is not easy at the best of times. Good luck to Ramdin, he has to lead from the front with more consistent scores and keeping.

  • POSTED BY on | May 12, 2014, 0:25 GMT

    Obviously, New Zealand will come to the region with the psychological advantage after beating them 2-0 and this is one area Ramdin will have an uphill task to find a winning formula.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2014, 21:40 GMT

    Sammy made an exceptional job of leading a team that was always going to lose more than it was going to win.

    It is hard to see Ramdin (or indeed anyone else) doing it better.

  • POSTED BY tutorial on | May 11, 2014, 20:55 GMT

    Good article mr.Cozier but Ramdin should not be under the microscope because he does his job very well at keeping wickets, batting is a plus and he is currently doing an amazing job. The man is well qualified for this position unlike Sammy. The fact is that his fans are hurt, but for WI. Cricket to develop and move forward in the right direction, this and other tuff decisions have to be made and no more fovoritetisioms. Hope to see the departure of Gibson also, and I don't think Sammy is good for ODI.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2014, 15:26 GMT

    WICB should continue the house cleaning process by ridding us of the selectors, head coach, Gayle and Samuels. They have all reached their "sell By " dates.

  • POSTED BY Rally_Windies on | May 11, 2014, 15:09 GMT

    WI best 11

    Roach, Taylor, Holder/Rampaul , Miller, Doenarine/Bravo , Ramdin, + any 5 batsmen ...

    really,, any 5 performing batsmen will do. But the bowling must be balanced and capable of attacking in any conditions ...

    You can stick Bishoo and Narine in the squad if you want.

    Miller deserves his chance, and Permaul needs some more seasoning. But Permaul will eventually replace Miller ..

    Miller has only 2-3 more year in him ..

    Odean Brown has sailed off into the sunset..

    Jamaican has won the 4-day title 5 times in 8 years.. and they did this on the backs of Miller and Brown ...

  • POSTED BY Rally_Windies on | May 11, 2014, 15:03 GMT

    Sammy's role as captain, herald in a Era of Opportunity for small islanders. His brethren failed him. Shillingford's success is really a failure . Yes he could take 5 wickets in a innings, but he did it in 45 overs and at 3 runs per over ! And the opposition racked up 350-450 every time Shilly took a 5 fer . That is not a success. When Jerome Taylor or Roach takes a 5 fer, the opposition post less than 300 !

    Sammy's captaincy saw Test caps for batsmen who never scored a 1st class 100. It left the Number one Spin Bowler in the Region (Miller) for 5 years, still languishing in 1st class cricket, while 5 other spinners got chances. Benn, Shilly, Narine,Permaul, Bishoo....

    They have all had a margin of success. But the poisonous WI selectors did ti again. Giving Miller some ODI's and 20/20 games, shielding him from Test. Though his records shows he is weaker in limited overs cricket.

    The coach is not great either. Making Tino the 1st choice bowler on the team.

  • POSTED BY Rally_Windies on | May 11, 2014, 14:52 GMT

    @ Mee Lainge

    can you tell us when was the last time Sangakara kept in a Test ? If you could, then i suspect that you would have the answer to your own question !

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | May 11, 2014, 13:04 GMT

    Oh, and I forgot about the great AB de Villiers. Can't see how you can even compare Haddin, Prior or Ramdin with AB, Sangkarra or even McCullum Mr Cozier.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | May 11, 2014, 12:55 GMT

    Not sure you can talk about the ' best of contemporary keepers' and not include the Sri Lankan keeper Kumar Sangkarra in the equation!

  • POSTED BY CricketChat on | May 11, 2014, 12:34 GMT

    Wonder why Ramdin was selected to replace Sammy unless he is a much better captaincy material and gets more respect from his teammates that I am not aware of. He is not much younger nor his record in tests both behind and in front of wkts is not much better than that of Sammy's. They both were ordinary for much of their careers save an occasional moment of glory. I don't expect any different results without major changes in playing personnel.

  • POSTED BY vladtepes on | May 11, 2014, 12:21 GMT

    desmond andrade is 100% accurate: if not for the wicb, with their poisonous politics and their atrocious selection process, west indies would have been a competitive force for years already. but look how they treat their best people. sarwan and the all-time great chanderpaul sit in the stands, and brian lara forced into acrimonious retirement, nash gone, brathwaite gone, and now sammy, all while they fawn and gush over the divisive and uninterested gayle. at least they a capable replacement in ramdin.

  • POSTED BY getsetgopk on | May 11, 2014, 11:36 GMT

    well once captaining WI was like being the king of the greatest cricketing dynasty, now it is nothing but a thorny crown. The team hasn't done well in years and so have the fans stayed away. Stadiums are increasingly barren, visits from teams like SL, PAK, NZ... ends up making a loss, board is finding it hard to make ends meet. Players aspire to land an IPL contract than to represent WI in any capacity, not even as captains, once a proud job, not anymore.

  • POSTED BY ranpath on | May 11, 2014, 10:42 GMT

    I cannot believe that people are still insisting that the WI persist with Samuels and Deonarine ( one by now aged 30 and the other past that) and who have not been producing good results consistently. Time to trim the fat and focus on building a team for the future... the key of course is young players ( under 25's) who , with the proper guidance/ training, may develop into a world beating team several years down the road.....

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2014, 10:27 GMT

    Congrats Ramdin, now all we need to do is get the team selection right. Every new captain needs time let hope he gets it. All we keep hearing about is rebuilding W.I. Cricket, rebuilding means selecting a new freah group of plays who are committed to W.I. Cricket and sticking with them. The set up in th W.I. Is sad to say not good enough hence the selectors should look to get these plays selected in other 4 day compitition across the world to help them develop we did in the old days. Only by doing this W.I cricket will come back to what it once was.

  • POSTED BY SunAndSea on | May 11, 2014, 9:41 GMT

    In defying Viv Richards, Ramdin showed a commendable spikiness and desire to prove his detractor wrong. He needs to impart this to his team mates. Too often the West Indies have lay down and let the opposition steamroller them. It should be remembered that the West Indies became great in defiance of a certain opposition captain who said he wanted to make them "grovel".

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2014, 9:41 GMT

    Sammy never merited an automatic choice in the Test team, so somehow this was inevitable. With the long term future in mind and fitness permitting, WI should build their team with the first choice XI as - Kieran Powell, K. Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, M. Samuels, S. Chanderpaul, N Deonarine, D. Ramdin, Jerome Taylor, S. Cotterell, K. Roach, S. Shillingford. Understand Chanderpaul is not long term, but with stability in mind and lack of options at the moment, he should be in the XI as long as he wants to be.

  • POSTED BY siddhartha87 on | May 11, 2014, 9:05 GMT

    I think with Sammy quitting West Indies will have more balanced side. They need to bring back Roach to their test set up. Also Jerome Taylor is fully fit now.Taylor,Roach,Rampual and Holder has the potential to form a great bowling attack.

  • POSTED BY kentjones on | May 11, 2014, 8:12 GMT

    Mr.Cozier thanks again for a wonderful article.The main reason Sammy has been replaced is because he is unable to retain his place in the side.It is not just because of the last set of results in test cricket.Under any other captain, the same team most probably would have lost.What Ramdin offers that Sammy cannot, is a player who cam motivate by his performance and not just energy.He is very good wicket-keeper and a solid experienced middle to lower order batter. I have maintained that part of WI problems in test is the selection of the team more than simply performance.Sammy's absence allows more flexibility in team selection and a greater chance to get the right team selected. Ramdin's major role is to provide a steady hand with consistent performances in the lower order, once that is done, he will earn the respect and confidence of his team and everything else will follow.If the WI batting is consistently solid, then WI is on the way.We have good bowlers that can get good results.

  • POSTED BY ygkd on | May 11, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    Watling the best overall wicket-keeper - I'm not sure that makes much sense, even within the confines of NZ - there may have been a bit of good fortune there methinks. Anyway, this article's about Ramdin, who is essential to the WIndies' fortunes. Asking him to average 40 with the bat, captain a struggling side and keep to such a decent standard is, well, asking a fair bit. I'm not sure that asking so much of one player makes any sense at all either. But then it's a long time since one could make much sense of Caribbean cricket unfortunately.

  • POSTED BY ilovetests on | May 11, 2014, 5:07 GMT

    Decent player, although needs a few years of success to move on from the furore regarding Viv and claiming dropped catches.

    He has done well in the last couple of years, but still only averages 27 which is probably the worst of the test keepers in the world. In terms of batsmen-keepers ABDV is clearly no 1 for batting, Prasanna Jayawardene is the best "pure wicketkeeper" and Watling is probably the best overall as keeper-batsman.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2014, 4:08 GMT

    Captaincy is not the problem with westindies team its the management, I dont think Dinesh Ramdin being a captain is gonna make any huge difference for the team's Performance, Cant blame alone Darren sammy for poor performance no other player in playin 11 played well or are consistent - Gayle, Samuels, Powell, ve been disapointing. Only Chanderpaul n to sum extent Darren Bravo ve played well in Test's in past 2 yrs, Bring in Jerome taylor, Roach always had issue's with injuries,Narine is not given much chances in Test's nor has Dwayne bravo, Devendra bischoo who bowled well has been dissappeard n A Classy Batsman like Ramneresh Sarwan who has almost 6000 runs in both forms of the game is still sitting out cuz of idiotic WICB,Change is not needed in the team it is needed in the management.Performance will be the same as it was n it is since 1995 it was only The Genius of Brian Lara that dey won some games till 2007 n Westindies players luk more interested playing in T20 league's.

  • POSTED BY Sir_Ivor on | May 10, 2014, 12:18 GMT

    Being a long time admirer and well wisher of everything about West Indies I hope that their cricket is on the verge of their return to the halcyon days.When other teams were scared of being in the same ring.Sammy was a nice man,but had his limitations.He probably needed the self believing confident persona that lies within most successful captains in the world today.Whatever we might say about him,he won the WC 20/20 for West Indies in Sri Lanka. I have always believed that Ramdhin is very much in the tradition of great wicket keeper batsmen from the Carribean islands. His placard to Sir Vivian upon reaching 100 was distateful in the extreme on the face of it. But if one thinks deeper, it probably suggests an inner strength. That of defiance and the belief that the West Indies are good even now. As far as talent is concerned, I am sure these islands will never be short on it. It is just that they have to be grouped and made a team that believes they can win everything

  • POSTED BY FOUR-REAL-QUICKS on | May 10, 2014, 10:28 GMT

    "The state of West Indies cricket at Sammy's appointment in October 2010 was no better than it is at his departure."

    Mr.Cozier's comment above shows exactly why the change had to be made. Sammy did lift morale and performance levels above where they had languished for some time - but sadly, he also oversaw their decline once more. Ramdin needs to bring it back up again. We have some very promising young players in the region, such as Ambris, K.Brathwaite, Powell, Pooran, T.Chanderpaul, DB.Bravo, Blackwood and co with the bat and Beaton, Mathew, Roach, Narine, Cottrell, Johnson etc with the ball. But these guys need decent training, oitches, management and coaching - bring life back into the pitches and you will see new life back in the players. Would expect to see DJ.Bravo and Narine play tests from now.

  • POSTED BY on | May 10, 2014, 10:01 GMT

    Ramdin is the only logical choice. Hopefully he will get the support he needs necause he doesnt have a very good team to work with

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  • POSTED BY on | May 10, 2014, 10:01 GMT

    Ramdin is the only logical choice. Hopefully he will get the support he needs necause he doesnt have a very good team to work with

  • POSTED BY FOUR-REAL-QUICKS on | May 10, 2014, 10:28 GMT

    "The state of West Indies cricket at Sammy's appointment in October 2010 was no better than it is at his departure."

    Mr.Cozier's comment above shows exactly why the change had to be made. Sammy did lift morale and performance levels above where they had languished for some time - but sadly, he also oversaw their decline once more. Ramdin needs to bring it back up again. We have some very promising young players in the region, such as Ambris, K.Brathwaite, Powell, Pooran, T.Chanderpaul, DB.Bravo, Blackwood and co with the bat and Beaton, Mathew, Roach, Narine, Cottrell, Johnson etc with the ball. But these guys need decent training, oitches, management and coaching - bring life back into the pitches and you will see new life back in the players. Would expect to see DJ.Bravo and Narine play tests from now.

  • POSTED BY Sir_Ivor on | May 10, 2014, 12:18 GMT

    Being a long time admirer and well wisher of everything about West Indies I hope that their cricket is on the verge of their return to the halcyon days.When other teams were scared of being in the same ring.Sammy was a nice man,but had his limitations.He probably needed the self believing confident persona that lies within most successful captains in the world today.Whatever we might say about him,he won the WC 20/20 for West Indies in Sri Lanka. I have always believed that Ramdhin is very much in the tradition of great wicket keeper batsmen from the Carribean islands. His placard to Sir Vivian upon reaching 100 was distateful in the extreme on the face of it. But if one thinks deeper, it probably suggests an inner strength. That of defiance and the belief that the West Indies are good even now. As far as talent is concerned, I am sure these islands will never be short on it. It is just that they have to be grouped and made a team that believes they can win everything

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2014, 4:08 GMT

    Captaincy is not the problem with westindies team its the management, I dont think Dinesh Ramdin being a captain is gonna make any huge difference for the team's Performance, Cant blame alone Darren sammy for poor performance no other player in playin 11 played well or are consistent - Gayle, Samuels, Powell, ve been disapointing. Only Chanderpaul n to sum extent Darren Bravo ve played well in Test's in past 2 yrs, Bring in Jerome taylor, Roach always had issue's with injuries,Narine is not given much chances in Test's nor has Dwayne bravo, Devendra bischoo who bowled well has been dissappeard n A Classy Batsman like Ramneresh Sarwan who has almost 6000 runs in both forms of the game is still sitting out cuz of idiotic WICB,Change is not needed in the team it is needed in the management.Performance will be the same as it was n it is since 1995 it was only The Genius of Brian Lara that dey won some games till 2007 n Westindies players luk more interested playing in T20 league's.

  • POSTED BY ilovetests on | May 11, 2014, 5:07 GMT

    Decent player, although needs a few years of success to move on from the furore regarding Viv and claiming dropped catches.

    He has done well in the last couple of years, but still only averages 27 which is probably the worst of the test keepers in the world. In terms of batsmen-keepers ABDV is clearly no 1 for batting, Prasanna Jayawardene is the best "pure wicketkeeper" and Watling is probably the best overall as keeper-batsman.

  • POSTED BY ygkd on | May 11, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    Watling the best overall wicket-keeper - I'm not sure that makes much sense, even within the confines of NZ - there may have been a bit of good fortune there methinks. Anyway, this article's about Ramdin, who is essential to the WIndies' fortunes. Asking him to average 40 with the bat, captain a struggling side and keep to such a decent standard is, well, asking a fair bit. I'm not sure that asking so much of one player makes any sense at all either. But then it's a long time since one could make much sense of Caribbean cricket unfortunately.

  • POSTED BY kentjones on | May 11, 2014, 8:12 GMT

    Mr.Cozier thanks again for a wonderful article.The main reason Sammy has been replaced is because he is unable to retain his place in the side.It is not just because of the last set of results in test cricket.Under any other captain, the same team most probably would have lost.What Ramdin offers that Sammy cannot, is a player who cam motivate by his performance and not just energy.He is very good wicket-keeper and a solid experienced middle to lower order batter. I have maintained that part of WI problems in test is the selection of the team more than simply performance.Sammy's absence allows more flexibility in team selection and a greater chance to get the right team selected. Ramdin's major role is to provide a steady hand with consistent performances in the lower order, once that is done, he will earn the respect and confidence of his team and everything else will follow.If the WI batting is consistently solid, then WI is on the way.We have good bowlers that can get good results.

  • POSTED BY siddhartha87 on | May 11, 2014, 9:05 GMT

    I think with Sammy quitting West Indies will have more balanced side. They need to bring back Roach to their test set up. Also Jerome Taylor is fully fit now.Taylor,Roach,Rampual and Holder has the potential to form a great bowling attack.

  • POSTED BY on | May 11, 2014, 9:41 GMT

    Sammy never merited an automatic choice in the Test team, so somehow this was inevitable. With the long term future in mind and fitness permitting, WI should build their team with the first choice XI as - Kieran Powell, K. Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, M. Samuels, S. Chanderpaul, N Deonarine, D. Ramdin, Jerome Taylor, S. Cotterell, K. Roach, S. Shillingford. Understand Chanderpaul is not long term, but with stability in mind and lack of options at the moment, he should be in the XI as long as he wants to be.

  • POSTED BY SunAndSea on | May 11, 2014, 9:41 GMT

    In defying Viv Richards, Ramdin showed a commendable spikiness and desire to prove his detractor wrong. He needs to impart this to his team mates. Too often the West Indies have lay down and let the opposition steamroller them. It should be remembered that the West Indies became great in defiance of a certain opposition captain who said he wanted to make them "grovel".