'The best I have bowled for a long time' - Rampaul
West Indies fast bowler Ravi Rampaul has said he is delighted with his superb bowling display in the second ODI against India. He struck at either end of the Indian innings, to finish with 4 for 37, and was largely responsible for containing India to a below-par 188.
The 24-year-old picked up the Man-of-the-Match award as West Indies drew level in the four-match series, storming to a eight-wicket win in Jamaica. "It was the best I have bowled for a long time. I was playing four-day cricket and coming back to one-day, my rhythm and everything went well - today I bowled really well," Rampaul said.
Rampaul, who replaced Lionel Baker from the first ODI at the same venue, said he was a little surprised with the loose shots that the Indian batsmen played, but he was more concerned about ensuring that he maintained an immaculate line and intelligently utilising the swing he managed to extract from the pitch. "I was getting a little swing with the ball so I was just waiting for them to play the rash shots," he said.
He said he had also noticed that since the ICC World Twenty20 the Indians were averse to short-pitched deliveries but contained himself to use it sparingly. "They weren't too comfortable with the short balls so I used it as a surprise delivery," Rampaul said.
While Rampaul went on the rampage early on - dismissing Gautam Gambhir and Rohit Sharma for ducks in his first over - he also underlined the importance of bowling miserly spells. "I'm always an attacking bowler and I think the captain knows that I am an attacking bowler, but I can bowl tight as well," Rampaul said.
After his initial double strike, he sent back Ravindra Jadeja and Praveen Kumar as the West Indies stormed to a comprehensive victory. His performance would no doubt have put the selectors on notice over his inclusion in the Test side. "I enjoy all types of matches, I am just waiting for my opportunity to play Test cricket," Rampaul said.
Rampaul, who has played 34 ODIs, said he had been making steady progress in getting back into top shape and thanked former West Indies trainer, Ronald Rogers, for his help. "I have been working hard; apart from cricket I have been doing a lot of physical work and I'm getting better," Rampaul said. "I still need to do a bit more work but I am getting there slowly."