[www.inewsguyana.com] – The upcoming three-match Test Series against South Africa presents a massive opportunity for the members of the West Indies team to step up and be counted in a major way.
This is the view of West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin, as the visitors put in their final preparations for the opening Test match, which bowls off on Wednesday at the SuperSport Park in Centurion.
Ramdin shed some light in the team’s readiness. “We have prepared well. Now is the best place to start as we look to put some performances together…now we have to go out and show that it was meaningful preparation. We have to make sure that we make the most of the hard work we have put in, in the build-up. Trying to beat them is going to be difficult, but we have a confident team and we believe in our ability.
“The last time we played here we won the first Test match and that set-up a very good series. That was due to the self-belief among everyone in the team. I will remind the team of that occasion as we look to start on a positive note,” Ramdin stated.
In addition, Ramdin pointed to some of the key factors that might possibly give Windies an advantage.
“We have made some positive steps. We have young Kraigg Brathwaite at the top of the order and he got a double hundred earlier this year, so he is one player who we will look at to give us a solid performance in the batting. So far we are on the right step…we just need to be more consistent all round. The batting hasn’t been up to scratch over the past couple of years and it will be up to myself, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Marlon Samuels – the experienced players – to put up our hands and perform as we go along.
“The bowling is good and we have some outstanding fast bowlers who will enjoy bowling in these conditions. Kemar Roach is ranked among the top bowlers in the world and Jerome Taylor has come back with some excellent performances for us in Test cricket. Sheldon Cottrell could be a surprise…at some point he will be a surprise package. If we look at the Australia series, Mitchell Johnson had success against South Africa. If Sheldon is in the team, I’m sure he will do something special for us,” Ramdin noted.
Meanwhile, the Captain admitted that a great challenge is ahead of them in order to win the series.
“They are the Number 1 team and they have been doing some very good things for the past few years and that is what has put them at the top of the rankings. So we know it won’t be easy to topple them but it is a challenge we look forward to. We’ve had several meetings and we have planned, and we looked at every member of their team, but we know that we will require a complete team effort to win over here.
“I relish the opportunity as captain to lead from the front. Once everyone does their part, once we put in some good partnerships at the bottom of the order and everyone contributes we can do something special. Looking at the pitch, it looks a very good one, come tomorrow morning we will look to get out in the middle and give the South Africans a good challenge.”