West Indies news March 27, 2012

Rampaul eyes Test match return against Australia


Ravi Rampaul, the West Indies fast bowler, has signalled his readiness to return for the Test series against Australia following his bout of dengue fever.

At 27, Rampaul has developed into one of the region's most reliable international bowlers but was unable to be considered for the West Indies pre-tour training squad or the ODI series due to illness - he also had to shrug off a shoulder problem.

However Rampaul has returned to playing club cricket in Trinidad and is hopeful of representing the island in their regional first-class tournament semi-final against Barbados, the better to prove his fitness for the Tests that begin on April 7.

"I am definitely anxious to get back," Rampaul told the Trinidad Express. "I have missed out on a lot and I just want to get back on the team and then cement my place for the Test series against Australia."

"Basically I have been doing my physiotherapy and a lot of training. I have been doing a lot of bowling for the past two weeks on my own in the nets and it has been coming along. This is my first real test here, playing this match [for PowerGen against Preysal]. Hopefully I can do well here and be ready for the Test series against Australia."

Having made his Test debut against Australia in Brisbane in 2009, Rampaul has since lodged a series of sturdy displays with the new ball against Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, bustling through the crease at good pace and also showing the ability to move the ball in the air and off the seam. He is capable of providing a useful pace counterpoint to the unbridled aggression of Kemar Roach, a probable starter in the Tests given the problems he caused Ricky Ponting in the 2009 matches.

"Australia is probably one of the hardest teams you can play against," Rampaul said. "I always like a challenge and I always want to do well against the bigger teams. It has been a tough couple of months for me but I know what I want and I know what my goal is, and I have been training hard and doing my therapy. My shoulder is feeling much better. I am feeling fit and ready."

Though they will lose a handful of key performers to the concurrent IPL, the West Indies team has shown plenty of promise in the ODI series, forcing a 2-2 tie under the increasingly astute leadership of Darren Sammy. The hosts' fielding has also caught the eye, and Rampaul's return will add to their bowling options.

"The team have been playing a lot of good cricket," Rampaul said. "They look good. They look fully focussed right now and they gel together pretty well, and I am anxious to get back. [Being on the sidelines for so long], it was a bit hard but it gave me a lot of time to review my past performances and try to figure out batsmen, so when I do start back, I will be ready."

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • brad on March 29, 2012, 15:04 GMT

    Sammy did take 5/29 in the fourth innings against Pakistan (all out178) in May last year. WI won by 40 runs. He averages 30 with the ball in tests- what are the averages of Roach, Rampaul, Edwards, Bishoo or any other superior WI bowler that Sammy is keeping out of the team? He looks nothing but his results stack up. As far as seeing him take the final three wickets or holding up with a tail ender on the fifth day- at least under Sammy they are getting into these positions. Still have to admit that Sammy throws the balance out on paper. Still, you can't drop a guy when he is statistically the best performed WI bowler of the past 10 years!

  • trevor on March 29, 2012, 13:03 GMT

    Windies fans eagerly awaits the return of the big fast bowler with his spirited attitude; Rampaul is a genuine wicket-taker,he is missed when not on the field being partnered by Roach, Edwards, Taylor,Best & CO. Am I dreaming-- i,m entitled, Windies are on the rise,Good cricket boys. WIN FOR THE FANS.

  • Dummy4 on March 29, 2012, 2:28 GMT

    it would have been great to see west indies use 2 spinners for the 2nd and 3rd tests in trinidad and guyana. unfortunately narine may not be available and the selectors dont go for 2 spinners in the same match + sammy is there in the squad which takes up a fulltime bowlers spot. i think sammy is a decent cricketer but not a good captain and i also dont see him wiining a test with the bat or ball, he takes some good wickets at time based on the pitch but is not a wicket taker and is more of a one day batsman. could u see sammy batting out the last two sessions of day 5 with a tailender? or taking the ball and getting the last 3 wickets in the final session of the last day? sorry i just dont see it, but sammy is going to be their whether i like it or not so my 11 would be 1 simmons 2 barath 3 edwards 4 bravo 5 chanderpaul 6 deonarine 7 ramdin 8 sammy 9 rampaul 10 bishoo 11 edwards/ roach (edwards i dont like cuz he doesnt control the ball enough and is expensive but roach is out of form)

  • Tim on March 29, 2012, 1:28 GMT

    People are overreacting to the IPL's influence. Only uncontracted players have the choice to play IPL. Any player with a West Indies contract will play if selected. I'm not completely sure what the West Indies contract situation is but I know that Darren Bravo is contracted so he'll definitely play the tests. Narine is the only big question mark, we know Gayle won't play for Windies. My XI would be Barath, K Edwards, Samuels, Darren Bravo, Chanderpaul (c), Pollard, Baugh, Rampaul, Roach, Fidel, Bishoo. If its a turning track then Narine in for Fidel.

  • Mark on March 28, 2012, 23:59 GMT

    At least Ravi is on the mend, that's the most important thing.

  • charlie on March 28, 2012, 23:47 GMT

    It's a good thing, that a cricket team is made up of only eleven players ;because judging from the selectors on here ,we would have every player who had a good performance in the team . While it would be nice to have Rampaul in the team ,it wouldn't be a good idea at this time . We all see what happens to players when they are rushed into their come-backs . They sometimes incur greater injuries which keep them out for much longer periods than the original . I think that Tino Best is an able, ready and willing replacement ,so why not use him at this juncture .

  • Dave on March 28, 2012, 20:49 GMT

    not sure what's happening with B. Nash, but if he's fit he should also be in the squad.

  • Dummy4 on March 28, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    If Simmons & Bratwaithe were unable to handle Ishant Sharma last year who could not buy a wicket vs Australia a few months ago I stongly doubt they will stand up against Hilfenhaus, Starc, Pattinson & Siddle so they should not be considered barring injury to key players. Brett Lee who is not the Brett Lee he used to be made Kieron Powell look like a novice in the first 3 ODI so he is out as well. My 11, Bharat, Sammy, Edwards, Bravo, Sarwan, Chanderpaul, Nash, Baugh, Fidel, Roach & Bishoo. Sarwan and Nash can help Bishoo bowl spin since Gayle /Samuels going to IPL.

    Rampaul pending full recovery Deonarine & Benn should be kept in the squad

  • Dave on March 28, 2012, 19:53 GMT

    Takin in consideration the players out injured (Simmons), the players contracted to IPL (Gayle, D.M. Bravo, D.J. Bravo, Samuels, Pollard, Kooper and Narine), And the players being overlooked or ineligible to play (J. Taylor and R. Sarwan) my test squad for the upcoming Test series would be: 1.Barrath, 2. Powel, 3.K. Edwards, 4.Deonarine, 5.Chanderpaul, 6. Ramdin, 7.Sammy, 8.Rampaul, 9.Roach, 10.Bishoo, 11.Edwards. (12th man. Fudadin. 13.Shillingford, 14.k. Brathwaite.)

  • Dummy4 on March 28, 2012, 19:46 GMT

    I normally bash Sammy but not undeservedly so. His lack of tactical skill as captain is a major turn off for me & when added to the negative impact captaincy has had on his batting & catching any sensible person would question his place in the team. His poor captaincy & catching played an undeniable role in several of the series we lost or failed to win last year. However despite his dropped catch in the t20 yesterday & the farcical run out that ended up costing us a series we shouldve won 3-2 at least he deserves another chance. As always he has showed heart which was never an issue. But more importantly he seems to be putting more thought into his decisions & his batting and fielding in the ODI series wasnt too shabby. Maybe he could try to put the Aussie fast bowlers on the back foot by opening the batting & going at them hard. In Gayle's absence he is more likely to pull it off than Barath or God forbid, Kieron Powell. I hope my belief isnt proved to be misplaced.

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