Earmarked for leadership of the West Indies team long before sacked all-rounder Darren Sammy got the job in 2010, West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin has received the public endorsement of three former West Indies Test players with one suggestion he be at the helm in all formats.
Former Trinidad and Tobago captain Daren Ganga hailed the move as a “bold but promising one”, while former Guyana fast bowler Colin Croft said Ramdin still had to work on improving his batting. Former Trinidad and Tobago captain Deryck Murray 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 said that Ramdin was 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 shows he is ready to grab the reins of leadership.
“His tactical knowledge and understanding of the game are 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 was 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?”
Speaking to the media in his homeland, Ramdin said he hoped to replicate the success.
“We have a great team spirit, great energy and success on the T&T team and I want us to have the same thing at the West Indies level. There are many players from T&T in the West Indies set up and I am sure that they will all play a part in getting that winning culture going.”
Ramdin said he would be harping on his players to think positive and play positive cricket. “The only time we play well is when we play positive cricket. We have seen the talent available in the region, we have had some brilliant displays but the key
“Some of the ways to achieve this are to work hard and stay confident. We have to work on all areas of our game if we want to be consistently good and we are aiming for that in this upcoming series.”