West Indies v Zimbabwe, 2nd ODI, Grenada February 25, 2013

'Happy' Sarwan ends run-drought

ESPNcricinfo staff

Ramnaresh Sarwan, in his first show of form since his return to the West Indies team, set up victory in the second ODI against Zimbabwe on Sunday, and his effort pleased stand-in captain Dwayne Bravo. The innings, Bravo said, showed that Sarwan "wants to perform".

Sarwan moved up the order in the game, opening in place of the injured Johnson Charles, and went on to make an unbeaten century that helped the hosts chase down 274 with seven wickets and an over to spare. This decision was taken with a view to afford Sarwan more time in the middle, Bravo said: "Since he returned [after a contentious 18-month absence] in Australia and in the first game here, Ramnaresh Sarwan didn't get to bat long. He asked the selectors if he could come here early and play the practice game, so he wants that opportunity to score, he wants to perform. So it was a decision by the management, and we asked Sarwan if he wanted the opportunity [to open] and he said 'yeah'.

"His record speaks for itself in the one-day format and even in the longer form. It was good that once he got his hundred he stayed till the end; once Sarwan bats like that, we're always going to win."

Sarwan had a poor start on comeback, scoring 19 runs in four one-dayers before this. Getting big-name players like Sarwan to perform at optimum level, Bravo said, was "all about enjoyment". "You can see he's happy, he's relaxed now. Once you have players of Sarwan's class in the side, the best thing to do is to create the right atmosphere for them, to make them feel comfortable, make them feel happy, like they belong, and they will go out and perform.

"That's one of the things I asked the management for, to allow the senior players - the Sarwans, the Pollards and even if Chris [Gayle, who did not play the first two ODIs] comes back - to allow them to be themselves and express themselves. West Indies cricket will only benefit then."

Bravo also enjoyed personal success in the match, securing career-best figures of 6 for 43. Talking about his spell, he said: "On the pitch today I had to try a few things and my variations worked. Though I wouldn't say I'm back to my best bowling form; I still have a lot to do. The six wickets will help getting my confidence back, I can push on from here.

"Hopefully no injuries to hamper me, that's one of my main concerns. I hope I can keep myself on the park so I can continue to put in some good all-round performances."

Bravo said he was as yet not sure what changes would be made to the West Indies squad for the final ODI, and whether full-time captain Darren Sammy - who was rested for the first two matches - would return. As long as he was in charge, he said, he would look to maintain an attacking mindset.

"I'm a firm believer in wickets, wickets change games. I'm an attacking captain. I try to think like the batsman - what his strengths are, where he's looking to score, where he's not likely to score, who he wouldn't want to face and bring that bowler on.

"Today [Sunil] Narine had a go at me for attacking too much for him. But I believe he's my trump card, [so I set attacking fields for him, as a result of which] today I think was the first time he went for over 50 runs in international cricket, but I believe in him and I'll always attack for him. I always tell the guys I'd rather bowl ten overs and take 3 for 60 than none for 20."

Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor, was happy that his side competed better after being thrashed in the first ODI by 156 runs. "Definitely the guys put their hands up and fought harder today," he said. "We have to give credit to Sarwan for his innings. Losing myself and Vusi [Sibanda] up front probably set us back by 20 to 30 runs, otherwise we could have scored more than 300. [Tendai] Chatara can show some pride in his performance, but there's still room for improvement. [Natsai] Mushangwe bowled in tough situations, and to go for just over 40 was excellent. There's a lot of cricket left, and we'll be looking to do our country proud."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • perry on February 26, 2013, 9:52 GMT

    glad 2 c sarwan in the runs again,keep it up

  • Hildreth on February 26, 2013, 6:32 GMT

    CONGRATS TO WINDIES FOR A HARD FOUGHT VICTORY. SARWAN and BRAVO deserve special mention. It's never easy to open and bat thru the inns but Sarwan did just that. In Bravo's case a 6 wkt haul in ODI is rare and definitely a feat to be proud of regardless of the opposition. However overall the bowling effort was unimpressive. KEMAR ROACH had a poor day in my opinion and the other bowlers with the exception of Bravo leaked too many runs most averaging more than 5 runs per over. Roach must make better use of slower balls and bouncers in order to avoid 'meltdowns' like the over in which he went for 20 runs. This has happened too often for a bowler of his capability and experience. The SELECTORS must make a greater effort to find the BEST bowlers in the Caribbean for the three formats especially with world championships in mind. The BATTING seems to be on the upswing but the BOWLING is not penetrative enough evidenced by the inability to close out opposing teams even from great positions.

  • Dummy4 on February 26, 2013, 2:50 GMT

    i agree with deepak windies need a consistant keeper bat, i think thomas willl improve , at the moment ramdin is the best keeper in carrabean but unfortunatly he has no oppersision . what about the fast bowling dept how long do we have to wait for roach to get his line and length right ,no good being very fast and no line and length ,the strong countries like australia take you to the slaughter house .but i still think gibson and sammy are doing a good job.

  • Dummy4 on February 26, 2013, 2:33 GMT

    After that 20 outing .......Sarwan should have never been sent to face the Australians ..... He was clearly out of form and should have been rested ..... regained his form and then come back. For sure he is not a hit or miss batsman of the 20/20 format ......He is ODI and test material ..... form is temporary ...... class is permanent, welcome back Sarwan.

  • A-Gunnie on February 25, 2013, 19:30 GMT

    I am happy for Sarwan.....had he failed at the opening spot yesterday though,I honestly think that would have been the end for him.Batting him 6/7 spot the other day was an insult to his confidence then follow that with the opening spot was a recipe for failure - a poor decision by management although he made a 100.

    Skipper Bravo is winning BUT "I always tell the guys I'd rather bowl ten overs and take 3 for 60 than none for 20 " is certainly not the way to approach limited overs as we know because we know that we will chasing 300+ in games if you bowl that way.But 10 for 20 can only build pressure and wickets will come as a result Bravo....pls go back to the drawing board on that philosophy.

  • Dummy4 on February 25, 2013, 16:08 GMT

    Good cricket by both teams. Very pleasing to Sarwan back in form. He is a world class player with a future still left for him. And also a good fight by Zim. They are improving with every game. Good to see more black players embracing this great game in Zim. This Zim team has a very bright future and an inspirational leader in Brendan Taylor. All the best Zim, my favorite team after India!

  • Albert on February 25, 2013, 11:30 GMT

    Good to see you making runs Sarwan. It only helps WI ODI team if more players get in form. Critical for the upcoming Odi's against India and Sri Lanka

  • Dummy4 on February 25, 2013, 9:49 GMT

    like AB for the proteas the caribeans should make Roney their wicket keeper. All of their wk batsmens have poor averege in all formats of the game.

  • Dummy4 on February 25, 2013, 7:55 GMT

    ........ he (sarwan) should gave chance last time when westindies visited Bangladesh . that series probably a good exam for his comeback but not this weak zimbabwe bowling attack.

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