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Denesh Ramdin, the West Indies Test captain, has had a good 2014 and is growing in stature as a cricketer. Ramdin is currently leading the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2014. Nishad Pai Vaidya spoke to Ramdin on captaincy, wicketkeeping to Sunil Narine and a lot more.
The year 2014 has been good for Denesh Ramdin so far. From scoring his first ton in One-Day Internationals (ODIs) to being appointed Test captain, Ramdin is growing in stature as a cricketer. He is currently captaining the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2014. Even in this T20 tournament, he has had a couple of innings that showcased his talent.
In a chat with CricketCountry, Ramdin talks about Guyana’s progress in the CPL 2014, keeping to Sunil Narine and captaining in different formats.
CricketCountry (CC): How would you rate Guyana Amazon Warriors’ performance in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2014 so far?
Denesh Ramdin (DR): We are quite pleased with how the tournament has gone so far, but there is a long way to go. I’ve been very happy with our bowling and our batting has started to click in the last couple of matches with our top order getting some good scores. There are always things for us to work on and if we can make those one percent improvements then we will be a difficult team to beat.
CC: How difficult is it to captain in the T20 format? What is the greatest challenge of playing in T20?
DR: Behind the stumps, I am very relaxed — I have got the best seat in the house, where I can make decisions when we are bowling. I am always calm, especially when we are under pressure. The greatest challenge is that it is such a fast paced format so you’ve got to be switched on every single ball — you’ve got to think on your feet and be decisive. T20 is about handling pressure and getting the basics right — the team that does that the best usually wins.
CC: In the Super Over against Trinidad and Tobago Red Steel, Sunil Narine bowled a maiden over. How would you describe that performance from behind the stumps? Did you discuss any game plan with him before the over?
DR: Sunil is outstanding, he’s great to captain because he’s such a smart bowler and he knows his game so well. The length he bowls, and the fact that batsmen don’t know which way the ball is going to turn, makes it very difficult for batsmen to get him away. Even though (Nicholas) Pooran had done well against him during their innings, we were confident he could keep the score down in the Super Over, but even I wasn’t expecting him to bowl a wicket maiden.
CC: Is Narine the toughest bowler you have kept to? How do you manage to pick his variations?
DR: I have kept to Sunil for years so I’m pretty good at picking him. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy! On wickets like the one in Guyana, where the ball was turning a long way, in both directions, it was particularly challenging. But keeping to the best bowlers in the world is what you want to do. You want to test yourself and keep improving as a cricketer.
CC: You were recently appointed the Test captain. What was the experience like and how would you describe the pressure?
DR: It is a huge honour to captain the West Indies. Of course, whenever you are the captain there’s some added pressure, but I’m a pretty calm guy so I don’t tend to get overwhelmed by that kind of thing. We showed some promise during the recent series with New Zealand and we’re hoping to build on that and take the West Indies up the rankings.
CC: How different are your wicketkeeping drills before a T20 when compared to a Test or a one-dayer?
DR: The basics are always the same, but there is more focus on things like running back to get under a top-edge, or sprinting out from behind the stumps to try and execute a run-out. Of course there’s also a lot of standing up to the seamers, but that’s something I work on for One-Day Internationals (ODIs) as well. As a keeper in a T20 match, you’ve got to be as good a fielder as the rest of the guys, so I always work hard on my fielding — slides, throwing down the stumps — that kind of thing.
CC: What are the challenges you face as a wicketkeeper in T20 cricket? What is the role like in terms of setting fields and guiding players?
DR: Keeping wicket gives you the best seat in the house, so you’re perfectly positioned to judge the match, and react to what’s going on. Even when the keeper isn’t captain he’s always the key to help set fields and give advice to bowlers, so it’s something I’m used to.
CC: This year, we have seen you score your first ODI ton. Plus, there are some other good knocks from you in international cricket recently. Have you changed or worked on something in your batting?
DR: Great players are the ones that go out there and consistently perform for their team, so I’ve really worked hard to improve my consistency as a batsman. In the last couple of years I’ve made some good strides and now as captain it’s important that I continue to develop, and contribute the runs that I need to, on a regular basis.
CC: What can we expect from Guyana in the upcoming matches? How confident does the team feel this year?
DR: Our goal from the start has been to win the title this year. We were disappointed with our performance in the final last year because we didn’t do ourselves justice. The feeling in the camp is good — we’ve got a good squad, and although we’ve only made one change so far in our four games, we’ve got players who we can bring in depending on the conditions and the opposition. We’re taking it one game at a time but if everybody on the team plays to their potential, we feel we can win the tournament.
Denesh Ramdin captains the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) 2014. The CPL 2-14 would be in full swing until August 16th. For more info visit CPLT20.com
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