Sarwan says he is back to full fitness
- says home advantage should help Windies
Twenty-nine year-old Guyanese middle order batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan has now been playing at the highest level for the West Indies for a decade and is among the three best batsmen in the Region along with Chris Gayle and Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
These are three different batsmen in styles and form the core of the top order as the West Indies hope to go one step further than their semi-final placing in the last ICC T/20 tournament in England last year.
If the strength of Skipper Gayle is to destroy bowling attacks with explosive power and Chanderpaul’s forte is to wear the bowlers out, Sarwan is the most classical and elegant of the present West Indies batsmen and while like Chanderpaul and Wavel Hinds, who has been re-called for the 2010 ICC 20/20 World Cup which starts in Guyana on Friday, his style is not ideally suited for the game’s shortest format, his experience is vital in a version of the game which requires positive batting.
The shortness of the 20/20 format does not often allow middle and lower batsmen to get really big scores and Sarwan told reporters at yesterday’s media conference that although he might not get big scores he expects to produce fast scores.
He also stated that he was ‘very ready’ after a lay-off due to injury and added that those who were following the news would have seen that he was getting runs recently.
“I am physically 100% and the matches in the Jamaica Festival have helped with my match practice. I was a bit worried with my form heading into the Festival but I am pleased with where I am after at the end of that competition,” Sarwan revealed.
The elegant right-hander, who has 2 fifties and averages 28.71 from 11 T/20 Internationals hopes home advantage will give West Indies the edge.
West Indies have yet to win a multi-team competition since 2004 when they won the Champions Trophy in England, and after six tumultuous years Sarwan said the team needed its supporters to back them to the hilt.
“We have a very good chance of winning this competition. We are at home and that gives us an advantage,” said Sarwan, a veteran of that 2004 success. “What is important is that we play as a team and try and support each other as much as we can, whether it’s in the field or when we are batting or bowling. That is something we hope to do and we hope we can do it on a consistent basis.”
Sarwan, who is on the comeback trail from injury, felt the Caribbean fans had a big role to play. “There will certainly not be a problem getting support from our fans,” he said. “I think over the years, although we have not been at our best, the fans have been very supportive and I think they know that we need their support now.”
The hosts have been grouped with Ireland and England during the initial phase of the World Twenty20. In the inaugural tournament in 2007 they suffered a humiliating loss to Bangladesh and exited in the first round and in 2009 they lost in the semis to Sri Lanka. Clyde Butts, the Chairman of the West Indies selectors, was optimistic about the team’s chances this year.
“We have Chris Gayle at the top of the order and he can be a match-winner. It is also good to have our experienced players in the middle-order – Shiv Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan – and this gives us strength in the batting,” he said. “Wavell Hinds has been recalled and he brings a wealth of experience. Dwayne Bravo is one of the leading all-rounders in world cricket and he is the key man with bat and ball.
“We are happy to have Jerome Taylor back in the bowling department and this is a big plus. I also believe Sulieman Benn will play a major role with the ball.”