'Ramdin can help WI leapfrog NZ in the rankings'
Denesh Ramdin's appointment as West Indies' Test captain has received approval from several former players, though there also remains a level of surprise and a tone of caution at the choice. Former West Indies A captain Daren Ganga hailed the move as a "bold but promising one", while former fast bowler Colin Croft said Ramdin still had to work on improving his batting. Former wicketkeeper Deryck Murray, meanwhile, said it maybe worth considering making Ramdin "captain for all three formats of the game".
Ramdin took over the Trinidad & Tobago team from Ganga in 2011, ending the latter's nine-year stint as captain. Many saw that move as a stepping stone for Ramdin to hone his skills as a future West Indies leader - he was the team's vice-captain at that point.
Ganga told ESPNcricinfo that Ramdin is well prepared for the job. "It's a great opportunity to show his worth," Ganga said. "He has been groomed as a leader in the Regional Four-Day tournament for Trinidad and his experience at junior levels leading show he is ready to grab the reins of leadership.
"His tactical knowledge and understanding of the game is pretty sound. I've played for many years with Denesh. I think he can mesh the various personalities and motivate players of different backgrounds on the team. He can make a positive difference. Denesh can help West Indies leapfrog New Zealand in the rankings."
While Ganga felt there "should be no major concerns" with Ramdin's batting when he took over the extra responsibility of the captaincy, Croft said it is one area he really would have to work on. "With 56 Tests already under his belt, including four centuries, and 161 dismissals behind the stumps, Ramdin has just the right experience in Tests to command respect and demand excellence," Croft said. "However, his batting average in Tests, 27.25, has to improve."
Croft said there was no doubting Ramdin's place in the Test side though, as had sometimes been the case with his predecessor, Darren Sammy. "This appointment will certainly be a massive challenge for Denesh. But at least in Ramdin's case, there will not be any conjecture as to whether he deserves his place in the team or not, à la Sammy," Croft said. "Right now, by a long way, Denesh is easily the best wicketkeeper in the Caribbean."
Aggression, Croft said, had to be at the forefront of Ramdin's mind. "Ramdin has to be as aggressive for West Indies in planning and production as he has been for T&T."
Murray said appointing Ramdin across formats would promote consistency in the team. "With his position as wicketkeeper, he is present in all the squads. So if he's a constant, why not have him lead all the teams and give us more consistency?"
Renaldo Matadeen is a sportswriter and social media manager for ESPN Caribbean. @RenaldoMatadeen