New Zealand v West Indies, 5th ODI, Hamilton January 7, 2014

Ramdin asks WI batsmen, fielders to step up

Renaldo Matadeen

Denesh Ramdin has urged the West Indies batsmen and fielders to step up their game if they are to level the ODI series in New Zealand. West Indies go into the fifth and final match in Hamilton trailing 1-2 and needing a win to save face in a rain-affected series that has been rough on the visitors.

"Our fielding was not up to standard in the last game," Ramdin said. "We're usually a good fielding unit but we ended up giving away too many chances. The first 25 overs were good but in the second 25, we gave away chances and runs."

Ramdin also pointed out that the top five batsmen need to do better than their recent stagnant performances to set a proper foundation whether chasing or batting first. "It's no secret that our batting has failed us recently against India and New Zealand. Hopefully, our top five will come out and get some runs on the board or lead a good chase. I believe they can finish this (series) on a good note. We're looking to give a good showing. It's been a long time for us away from home and we're looking forward to going home but we want to end on a high note and improve. We haven't batted well at all except for a few bright spots here and there."

Ramdin referred to West Indies' depleted squad which had left them short of experience as a key factor in their showing against New Zealand. Ramdin said that the absence of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Kemar Roach and the subsequent blows to Darren Bravo, Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels and now, Ravi Rampaul, took a severe toll on the unit. "The injuries haven't been good for us. Now we have new guys coming in for selection. We'll do better in the Twenty20s and if this game is shortened, we will be ready. We know New Zealand are clicking in all aspects of the game."

He added that more support needed to be provided to Jason Holder, who he dubbed as their best bowler in the series. Ramdin felt Tino Best and Sunil Narine would be effective as long as the fielders stuck to plans. He bemoaned how their fundamentals such as backing up and simple catching pegged them back in the last couple of ODIs.

West Indies had lost the third Test in Hamilton earlier on the tour and Ramdin said the pitch was similar to the Test one. "The grass is greener and there's something for the bowlers, with the two new balls. Once the batters get past that, they should get some runs. It's frustrating with the weather. It's much more cold than we're accustomed to but we want to take this match down to wire and get a full 50 in."

On the mood in the camp, Ramdin said, "It's difficult but Bravo (Dwayne) has been motivating us in bringing a relaxed atmosphere to the dressing room so that we play our natural Caribbean style of cricket. It's tough so far but we have the belief despite not getting much success in New Zealand. Our respectability is on the line. We have a lot of cricket back in the Caribbean waiting on us so right now, we need to rally around each other."

Ramdin also brushed aside notions that West Indies were too reliant on T20 success recently. When asked if ODIs and Test cricket still appealed, he responded, "We enjoy playing these long formats but just haven't been getting the results. It's not a dying breed of cricket as many say. These are good challenges and the ultimate for cricketers. West Indies have players who are suitable for all formats.

"On the state of our cricket, it is important we keep working hard at the senior, U-15 and U-19 levels. We have to put on a show versus England back home and then there's the 50-over World Cup next year. I can see New Zealand being a dark horse as the co-host but we, as a team, will take it one step at a time, win some matches and gain confidence, especially with the T20 title defence in Bangladesh this year."

Renaldo Matadeen is a sportswriter and social media manager for ESPN Caribbean. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Sam on January 8, 2014, 12:08 GMT

    @ mngc: I respect your opinion mate. But the truth is that I don't see a keeper in WI who has some decent records with the bat. I feel Charles is a better bat than Ramdin surely and yes Charles can also drop down the order if he's blocking the opening slot as you said. Perhaps a very short-term solution but what can be done ? There's no other option either.

  • Dummy4 on January 8, 2014, 2:17 GMT

    Strange Ramdin can only ask for improvement after Crowe criticized him for poor fielding standards and a lack of urgency as a wicket keeper. He is reactionary and not really a leader in this case. This case is not one of speaking sense, its saving face.

  • Dummy4 on January 8, 2014, 0:53 GMT

    Some hope for the WEST INDIES-Russell in for TINO BEST & Kiernan Powell in for Deonarine. Best should have been replaced two matches ago, Smith should be placed in the team as an allrounder in place of Deonarine. Powell seems to be out of form-then maybe another stint in the field will do him good;Should he be playing ahead of DWAYNE SMITH.

  • adit on January 8, 2014, 0:18 GMT

    Is there something to be read between the lines in what Ramdin said, "It's difficult but Bravo (Dwayne) has been motivating us in bringing a relaxed atmosphere to the dressing room so that we play our natural Caribbean style of cricket." Does this suggest that the atmosphere in the dressing room is NOT relaxed and that there is pressure for the players NOT to play their natural game. Seems like history is repeating itself. Remember the Gibson/Chanders/Sarwan fiasco. Let's take heed of all these hints. Sarwan became a mental wreck and Chanders almost succumbed. Tony Cozier set the bal l rolling about the disquiet in the WI camp. I wish more would speak up and let the cat out of the bag so that the problem can be fixed once and for all.

  • Dummy4 on January 7, 2014, 23:21 GMT

    let it go Ramdin... you're outclassed. Worry about equal and inferior oppositions.... the BlackCaps are a team that deserve to be and will be top 4 by the end of next year. Objective fact. Lolz

  • Dummy4 on January 7, 2014, 20:05 GMT

    Just don't get how come Chanders isn't in the ODI squad.

  • michael on January 7, 2014, 19:00 GMT

    @samwinton92. An acceptable standard of runs for an opener must be higher than #7. Charles 28 when the standard must be 50+ gives him -22. Ramdin 22 when he should be 30 gives him -8. Unless you want Charles to bat at # 7 or lower the numbers do not support him being on the team. Charles does not have the talent to keep and cannot even make his regional side as keeper. Training would be useless from what I have seen. He is the worst international keeper ever in my books and there is no comparison to Akmal.

  • Sam on January 7, 2014, 18:41 GMT

    @ mngc: I agree with you that the keeping standard of Charles isn't upto mark but it can be sharpened if he is prepared well. A wicket keeper has to be a good batsman. The problem is that WI is loosing in this way or in that way. So, some steps need to be taken to alter that which can't be done with Ramdin. Making runs in longer format tests and making runs in shorter format ODIs are different thing. Ramdin only averages around 22 in the ODIs which is very poor. Look at Pakistan, Umar Akmal is doing a OK job. If the keeper can bat well it automatically opens up another slot for a batsman or a game changer all rounder.

  • Dummy4 on January 7, 2014, 16:53 GMT

    How refreshijg to hear someone speak with some intelligence and sense for a change than,(we won 6 straight test matches) yea, but against whom. wonder if this is a hint of chances to come? im' all for it.

  • Steve on January 7, 2014, 16:14 GMT

    Would be nice if Ramdin promoted himself to top 3 in the batting order and shows the way to his teammates.

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