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Denesh Ramdin’s reinvention augurs well for West Indies

Denesh Ramdin scored 169 in the third ODI, the third highest by a West Indian © AFP
Denesh Ramdin scored 169 in the third ODI, the third highest by a West Indian in the format © AFP

Hosts West Indies trounced Bangladesh 3-0 in the three-match One-Day International (ODI) series. Denesh Ramdin was the star for them in the series with 277 runs at an average of 92.33. Shiamak Unwalla looks at the man who has reinvented himself as a batsman in recent times.

West Indies were 22 for four , chasing 218 in the first ODI of the series against Bangladesh when Denesh Ramdin came out to bat. They were soon 34 for five. By the time he was dismissed, the score was 179 for six, and Ramdin’s 76-ball 74 had ensured West Indies would canter through.

Batting at No 6, he showed the temperament and level-headedness of a true finisher; one would be forgiven for mistaking him for another wicket-keeper batsman who tends to finish ODI matches in style. However, it was in the third match at St. Kitts that Ramdin really showcased his skills.

Once again coming in to bat when West Indies were in trouble at 12 for two with both openers back in the hut, Ramdin displayed a calm head and a ferocious technique to score a remarkable 169. In the process, he joined Brian Lara as the third-highest score by a West Indian in ODIs.

What stands out about Ramdin is his ability to accelerate almost at the switch of a button. He will be content rotating the strike and getting runs in the ones and twos, before exploding suddenly. When he decides to go for a big hit, he does so with conviction a clear head. His slog-sweep and his lofted off drives are as savage as they are effective, and he has the ability to time the ball as well.

In an exclusive interview with CricketCountry, Ramdin had said, “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.”

Ramdin has been true to his word; he made giant strides in ODI cricket, especially in 2014. This year he has already scored 443 runs at an average of 73.83 with two tons. In fact, in his last four innings alone he has amassed 405 runs at 101.25 and a very healthy strike rate. Ramdin is possibly West Indies’ best batsman at the moment; he is certainly their most consistent. It is perhaps time for him to permanently bat up the order. One feels that he is currently the best bet to have at No 4 with the likes Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy, Kieron Pollard, and Andre Russell to follow.

West Indies play 10 ODIs between now and the ICC World Cup 2015. There is little doubt that if they are to succeed in that tournament, Ramdin will play a key role with the bat. What the West Indies have lacked in recent times is a stable influence in the middle order. Ramdin can provide that, with the other more flamboyant batsmen batting around him. In a team of superstars, perhaps the one workman is what is needed the most.

Complete coverage of Bangladesh tour of West Indies 2014

(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)

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