COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CMC) — After spending a year out of West Indies colours, experienced seamer Ravi Rampaul says he is hoping to make the most of his latest opportunity with the Caribbean side.
The 31-year-old is one of several new players who have joined the Windies squad here, following the Test series, to contest the three One Day Internationals and two Twenty20s against Sri Lanka starting next Sunday.
“It’s been a while since I played for West Indies and I’m happy to be back. Hopefully I can put together some strong performances and really cement my place on the team for a couple years,” the Trinidadian said here yesterday.
He added: “I have been waiting for this opportunity since I was out of the team. Hopefully I feel a part of the team and make the most of the opportunity.”
Rampaul is the most experienced bowler in the West Indies line-up, with 90 ODIs and 22 T20s under his belt and will be expected to carry the weight of the seam attack along with Jerome Taylor and Captain Jason Holder.
And he believes his skill with the new ball and at the death could make him a formidable opponent, especially on the low, slow subcontinent pitches.
“[I bring to the team experience] with the new ball and coming down to the death,” he pointed out.
“Hopefully I can pick up early wickets and give the team a good start with the new ball and then come in and finish it off at the end. My experience will play a big part.”
He added: “Over here is similar to India. You have to use a lot of variation because the wickets tend to be a little slow, but execution in any game or on any pitch is the most important thing.”
Rampaul said while his arsenal remained basically the same, he was experimenting with a few things.
“There are no new deliveries, but I have been working on some slower balls and trying to perfect my yorkers, so hopefully in this tournament everything will come (out) smoothly.”
There is also a return to the squad for mystery off-spinner Sunil Narine who, like Rampaul, has not played for West Indies in over a year.
Rampaul said Narine’s inclusion in the squad automatically strengthened the bowling unit.
“It’s always good to have Sunil, turning the ball both ways. He brings a lot of confidence to your bowling line up knowing that we have him there. He takes wickets and he’s economical, so he’s a plus for our bowling team.”