Resigned Denesh Ramdin aims to return to regional four-day set up after West Indies Test snub
The big news in the build up to the 4-Test series India are to be playing against West Indies has been that of the axeing of senior player Denesh Ramdin. There has been no official announcement of the WI squad yet, but Ramdin has let known that he has been told he will not be a part of the series. Speaking on a radio show, he further stated on Friday that he was disappointed but would return to the four-day circuit in Caribbean domestic cricket in hopes of an international comeback.
His poor batting average in recent times has been cited as the reason why he is being overlooked for the important India series. Ramdin made the revelation that he would be dropped in a series of acerbic tweets where he pointed to Chairman of Selectors Courtney Browne’s own incompetence as a batsman as well as a wicketkeeper in the international shirt.
Speaking to a Jamaican radio channel, he said, "I haven't felt any pressure for the last three or four years. I felt a bit surprised (by the exclusion), but I have no choice but to live by the decision of the higher authority. I don't own cricket, and, well, I have to go back to my game in the regional four day-set up and come again.
"It seems like I'm not a senior player who has done well over the years. However, I've been down that road before and come back and done very well, so I think the process is easy," he said.
Was told West Indies needed a wicketkeeper who could bat better: Ramdin
The 31-year-old Ramdin has been a fixture in the West Indies Test team for the last decade, during which time the playing XI has changed all around him. Only Jeff Dujon (81 Tests) has played more Tests as West Indies’ specialist wicketkeeper than Ramdin (74 Tests), and there have been very few Tests which Ramdin has missed since his debut in 2005.
Ramdin spoke about what was said in a meeting with Browne. "The chairman called me and he explained to me I would no longer be in the four-match Test series coming up against India. He said over the past five-six years my averages haven't been where they should be as a Test player, so they need someone else to fill that position and do well for the West Indies.”
A former West Indies captain, Ramdin had been stripped off the captaincy after only 15 months in charge. He had led the side on the ill-fated India tour in 2014, after which it had been said that he had shown ‘poor leadership’. He had then been asked to concentrate on his batting and help new captain Jason Holder. He showed sparks of form in the recent ODI tri-series, but that was not enough for him to be not frozen out of the Test team.
Shane Dowrich looks set to be the replacement for Ramdin, and he has a better FC average than Ramdin as well, thus fitting requirements of the team more. The 24-year-old Dowrich has played 2 Tests for West Indies, having managed a highest score of 70. Limited overs specialists Andre Fletcher and Johnson Charles also stand an outside chance of earning Test call-ups.
Robbed of CPL chance, problems of being a specialist keeper
Alongwith the international snub, Ramdin also failed to get a contract with a Caribbean Premier League team because of contractual obligations with the West Indies cricket board.
"My name was in the draft. I was called by Barbados Tridents and I was told after that I can not because we have Test matches coming up. I was told we were not allowed to get into the draft. I was stopped and if that was in their plans they could have given me the opportunity to go ahead and play my CPL and earn some cash," he said.
"Now I'm losing out on both sides. What happens to Denesh Ramdin?" he added.
Former West Indies keepers have come out in support of Ramdin, stressing that there is no better keeper in West Indies at the moment, not considering batting averages.
Could this be marked as the end of the career of one of the last specialist wicketkeepers in international cricket? Are the West Indies thinktank justified in wanting to push for a keeper who can contribute more with the bat?