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Rampaul Receives High Praise From Dhoni

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Man of the Match in the Second Digicel One Day International, Ravi Rampaul, arrived in St Lucia on Monday, relieved and expectant. After suffering from multiple injuries which has so far curtailed his career, the fast bowler – and the only one of Indian origin to have represented the West Indies – is making his way back to the highest level.

After delivering his career best 4 for 37 against India at Sabina Park on Sunday, he has received high praise from one of the leading figures in world cricket – Mahendra Singh Dhoni, captain of India.

“Rampaul swings the ball really well, bowls in the right area, he forces you to play a big shot like the cover drive,” Dhoni said of Rampaul specifically.

The Indian skipper, who played an impressive lone hand of 95, as his team were reduced to 82 for 8 and then eventually made it to 188 all out, said that the opening combination of Rampaul and Jerome Taylor was exemplary.

“I don’t think there was that much in (the pitch) for the bowlers. They bowled really well, they were swinging the ball well and, when it stopped swinging, they were able to get reverse swing,” Dhoni explained after his team lost the match heavily with the home side romping to an eight wicket victory and levelling the four match Digicel Series 1-1 with two matches to play.

Rampaul entered the fray after he missed the First Digicel ODI when Lionel Baker, the Montserratian pacer, played ahead of him. Having been given an opportunity to play, Rampaul has no intention of looking back.

With the West Indies selectors meeting in St Lucia over the next few days to decide on the West Indies Test squad to face Bangladesh, Rampaul’s Man of the Match performance serves as a timely reminder of his skill and ability. Chaired by former Guyanese and West Indies off spinner, Clyde Butts, the all spin panel – the first in the history of the West Indies – includes Jamaican, Robert Haynes, and Trinidadian, Raphick Jumadeen.

And Rampaul has already signalled that, while he has played 34 ODIs, he is patiently awaiting an opportunity to play the longest format of the game.

“A performance like this has really helped me to come back and play international cricket and improve my confidence a lot,” Rampaul said.

“I have been working hard in trying to make back the team and I felt good bowling. I got a bit of swing with the new ball and picked up a couple of wickets, it was a good return to international cricket,” said the 24 year old right arm fast bowler.

Having debuted six years ago in 2003 as an exciting 18 year old prospect, Rampaul’s development in the sport was hampered by a severe shin injury which kept him out of international cricket for three years between 2004 and 2007. Since that time, he has been in and out of the West Indies squad and, if the evidence of his most recent performance is anything to go by, he appears quite intent on ensuring that he is more in than out in the coming years.

Performances such as that career best 4 for 37 will make Butts’ and his colleagues’ job all the easier and West Indian fans all the happier.

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Written by jamarch