West Indies news March 27, 2012

Rampaul eyes Test match return against Australia

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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

  • wtfbws 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!

  • gloriouscricket 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.

  • 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)

  • Dashgar 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.

  • bubbageil on March 28, 2012, 23:59 GMT

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

  • simonviller 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 .

  • Dav1daKing 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.

  • 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

  • Dav1daKing 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.)

  • 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.

  • wtfbws 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!

  • gloriouscricket 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.

  • 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)

  • Dashgar 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.

  • bubbageil on March 28, 2012, 23:59 GMT

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

  • simonviller 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 .

  • Dav1daKing 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.

  • 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

  • Dav1daKing 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.)

  • 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.

  • Dav1daKing on March 28, 2012, 19:23 GMT

    @Kamau Bussa , it's funny that only D.M. Bravo who is contracted to play IPL that u've named in ur squad without an alternative. Chris Gayle and Narine are the only other players in your squad that are contracted to play IPL atm and u gave an alternative for both. D.J. Bravo, Russell, Samuels are all contracted to play IPL, hence the only player that needs an alternative for your test squad is D.M. Bravo. and i would suggest Deonarine, esp since he bowls spin and since Samuels isn't in the squad we could use the extra back up spinner.

  • on March 28, 2012, 13:41 GMT

    My starting 11 for the first test would be as follows: 1. Gayle (if available)/Simmonds, 2. Barath, 3. DM Bravo, 4. K Edwards, 5. Chanderpaul, 6. Sammy, 7. Baugh, 8.Narine/Bishoo , 9. Roach, 10. Rampaul, 11. F Edwards. Still undecided about Narins vs Bishoo, as both are good bowlers. Bishoo may get the nod due to his test exoerience. The 3 pacers speak for themselves. Again, cannot have both DJ Bravo and Sammy in the same team currently, as it would weaken the balance, hence why I have him as a batting allrounder (No. 6). Other than that, the top 6 NEED to score 300 runs between them, then our bowlers have something to defend. No place either for Samuels, as he needs to get some runs under his belt to get back his place. Also unlucky is Russell, who has done himself no harm by the preformances in the recent ODI's.

    We can do it. WE WILL WIN!!!

  • SamAsh07 on March 28, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    I love every cricket team and support their stars, really glad to see Ravi Rams back, now go and ram those aussies!! Welcome back to the team, hopefully they pick you straight away!

  • satish619chandar on March 28, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    Tough task for selectors.. Narine or Bishoo? If Narine chooses IPL, it will make their task easier.. Though Sammy blocks a searing seamer as third bowling option, it is always better to have a silent partner in the attack to maintain things tight and the attackers can go full attack.. Like a Dravid or Kallis for batting, Sammy need to do it while bowling.. Once again, if they can get the batting to do more work, they can challenge Aussies.. It is the key as always..

  • Riddymon on March 28, 2012, 12:12 GMT

    @Lanski: While I see that you're boarding the bash sammy train as so many others..you seem to miss the fact that he's one of their most economical bowlers at the test level. Rampaul has the best balance of taking wickets/saving runs....roach can be a bit expensive and has not been taking as much wickets lately. Fidel is all out attack...Russell, although being a better bastman than Sammy is normally expensive with the ball. We need that buffer between your spinner and your fast bowlers and that's where Sammy comfortably sits..not fast enough to get away, not expensive and is handy with the wicket taking. The ONLY, and i repeat the ONLY thing that is holding the west indies back is their batting. Normally the bowlers get them in a good position, only for their batting unit to fail and squander the game. Even in this past T20, if the batters were able to put more runs on the board, we would have had a chance. Let's get it together Windies.

  • on March 28, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    It will be very intresting with the make up of the final eleven,but with Sammy being made captain for ALL three formats of the game,will offset the bowling balance of the team.Do not be surprised to see F Edwards,Roach,Sammy and Bishoo as the bowling attack,and maybe Rampaul being 12th man,that would be hard,but Rampaul is now coming back from a layoff through injury and if the WICB is consistent with their selection criteria,Rampaul will only have played one first class game for this series and they will ask,can we bring him straight back in the team?,do we leave out Roach who has played in first class season and looked good in ODI series?,You see with Sammy as captain,2 fast bowlers and a spinner will play plus our medium paced captain who has taken wickets at test level,but it is the consistency on true wickets that are needed plus him batting.

  • on March 28, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    Lanski has a point. I mean he did a great job in the ODIs but unless his batting improves Sammy should be confined to the shorter formats. Can we not make Sammy the ODI captain and have someone else as the test captain. Take a chance Windies, how about Kirk Edwards or Ramdin? How's this for a Test 11: Gayle, Barath, Kirk Edwards (c), Darren Bravo, Chanderpaul...wait for it...POLLARD, Ramdin, Rampaul, Narine, Roach, Fidel Edwards. I know I will be crucified for my separate takes on Sammy and Pollard but with regards to the latter, the man can bat. He is not the slogger some make out to be, hits the ball cleanly and should not be punished for being able to hit sixes and fulfill the role that has been asked of him in the shorter format. Something just has not seemed right with Samuels since his return. Unfortunate as I've always been a big fan of his batting. Gayle's return would offer the spin support for the frontline spinner that Samuels provided.

  • Dashgar on March 28, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    I'm a big supporter of Sammy but I simply can't fit him into the side any more. I think West Indies are emerging from a period of destabalisation. They need a new captain who is sure to be in the best XI in tests. I'm just not sure who that player is. Maybe Chanderpaul should be the captain at least for a short period.

  • rama_krish on March 27, 2012, 17:28 GMT

    Finally WI bowling looks like it is good enough to hold the Aussies in a test match. For all the prospects, however, only the naive will believe that we will overcome Ponting and Co. I look forward to a series with lots of good performances on both sides.

  • on March 27, 2012, 16:17 GMT

    Good to see Ravi-Ramps back. He's been our best bowler in the last year or so and one thing that has progressed in the Windies team, is the bowling. With Fidel, Roach, Russell, Pascal and the bonus of two potentially top-class spinners in Bishoo and Narine, as well as the skipper Sammy contributing with the ball, the future looks bright in the bowling department. The batting on the other hand is still unpredictable, but with the possible return of Gayle's power and experience to strengthen support for Barath, Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo and Shiv, that can improve as well. Regardless of the criticism Australia is getting on the tour so far, with Clarke and Ponting to return, they will still be a formidable outfit.

  • unbeleaveable on March 27, 2012, 15:30 GMT

    West Indies are starting to fire again and Ravi keeps the pressure on, should be a cracker of test series, Australia looking slightly stronger but playing WI playing at home, can not wait for this and another even series in the Carribean against NZ in July

  • Meyer_Lanski on March 27, 2012, 15:30 GMT

    This is wonderful news, that means potentially the West Indies can field a 4-man test attack of Rampaul/Edwards/Roach + Narine/Bishoo for the first test.

    Oh wait...i forgot Sammy is their as the default skipper, so one of those bowlers will have to miss out. Utter madness...

  • Yevghenny on March 27, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    I was wondering what happened to Rampaul, as last time I saw him bowl he had significantly improved into a very consistent bowler from his cannon fodder days

  • Reuelsean on March 27, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    the WI need Rampaul in the test line up, so this is indeed good news

  • on March 27, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    Extremely good news. Will certainly strengthen the test squad. However I would like to c two pacers & two spinners in the final test eleven agst the Aussies. Of course along with Sammy.

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  • on March 27, 2012, 12:23 GMT

    Extremely good news. Will certainly strengthen the test squad. However I would like to c two pacers & two spinners in the final test eleven agst the Aussies. Of course along with Sammy.

  • Reuelsean on March 27, 2012, 13:43 GMT

    the WI need Rampaul in the test line up, so this is indeed good news

  • Yevghenny on March 27, 2012, 14:29 GMT

    I was wondering what happened to Rampaul, as last time I saw him bowl he had significantly improved into a very consistent bowler from his cannon fodder days

  • Meyer_Lanski on March 27, 2012, 15:30 GMT

    This is wonderful news, that means potentially the West Indies can field a 4-man test attack of Rampaul/Edwards/Roach + Narine/Bishoo for the first test.

    Oh wait...i forgot Sammy is their as the default skipper, so one of those bowlers will have to miss out. Utter madness...

  • unbeleaveable on March 27, 2012, 15:30 GMT

    West Indies are starting to fire again and Ravi keeps the pressure on, should be a cracker of test series, Australia looking slightly stronger but playing WI playing at home, can not wait for this and another even series in the Carribean against NZ in July

  • on March 27, 2012, 16:17 GMT

    Good to see Ravi-Ramps back. He's been our best bowler in the last year or so and one thing that has progressed in the Windies team, is the bowling. With Fidel, Roach, Russell, Pascal and the bonus of two potentially top-class spinners in Bishoo and Narine, as well as the skipper Sammy contributing with the ball, the future looks bright in the bowling department. The batting on the other hand is still unpredictable, but with the possible return of Gayle's power and experience to strengthen support for Barath, Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo and Shiv, that can improve as well. Regardless of the criticism Australia is getting on the tour so far, with Clarke and Ponting to return, they will still be a formidable outfit.

  • rama_krish on March 27, 2012, 17:28 GMT

    Finally WI bowling looks like it is good enough to hold the Aussies in a test match. For all the prospects, however, only the naive will believe that we will overcome Ponting and Co. I look forward to a series with lots of good performances on both sides.

  • Dashgar on March 28, 2012, 6:19 GMT

    I'm a big supporter of Sammy but I simply can't fit him into the side any more. I think West Indies are emerging from a period of destabalisation. They need a new captain who is sure to be in the best XI in tests. I'm just not sure who that player is. Maybe Chanderpaul should be the captain at least for a short period.

  • on March 28, 2012, 10:25 GMT

    Lanski has a point. I mean he did a great job in the ODIs but unless his batting improves Sammy should be confined to the shorter formats. Can we not make Sammy the ODI captain and have someone else as the test captain. Take a chance Windies, how about Kirk Edwards or Ramdin? How's this for a Test 11: Gayle, Barath, Kirk Edwards (c), Darren Bravo, Chanderpaul...wait for it...POLLARD, Ramdin, Rampaul, Narine, Roach, Fidel Edwards. I know I will be crucified for my separate takes on Sammy and Pollard but with regards to the latter, the man can bat. He is not the slogger some make out to be, hits the ball cleanly and should not be punished for being able to hit sixes and fulfill the role that has been asked of him in the shorter format. Something just has not seemed right with Samuels since his return. Unfortunate as I've always been a big fan of his batting. Gayle's return would offer the spin support for the frontline spinner that Samuels provided.

  • on March 28, 2012, 12:09 GMT

    It will be very intresting with the make up of the final eleven,but with Sammy being made captain for ALL three formats of the game,will offset the bowling balance of the team.Do not be surprised to see F Edwards,Roach,Sammy and Bishoo as the bowling attack,and maybe Rampaul being 12th man,that would be hard,but Rampaul is now coming back from a layoff through injury and if the WICB is consistent with their selection criteria,Rampaul will only have played one first class game for this series and they will ask,can we bring him straight back in the team?,do we leave out Roach who has played in first class season and looked good in ODI series?,You see with Sammy as captain,2 fast bowlers and a spinner will play plus our medium paced captain who has taken wickets at test level,but it is the consistency on true wickets that are needed plus him batting.