Former WI glovesmen in Ramdin's corner
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC - Three former West Indies wicketkeepers, Jackie Hendriks, Deryck Murray and Jeff Dujon have questioned the decision by selectors not to include Denesh Ramdin for the upcoming Test series against India.
Dujon, who represented West Indies between 1981 and 1991, says Ramdin’s experience will be needed against India despite an unimpressive batting average.
“While I can vaguely understand the explanations by selectors regarding his average, especially when comparing it to other keepers around the world, but in the current context of the West Indies team, his exclusion, at this time, doesn’t make sense,” Dujon told Cricbuzz.
“Considering how experienced an opposition India is, his experience and his value as a good player versus spin are still key."
Ramdin averages 25 from 74 Tests with four hundreds, the last coming two-and-a-half years ago against New Zealand in Hamilton.
The former Windies skipper has struggled with the bat in his last 11 Tests over a 12-month period, averaging just 22, but showed signs of form in his last two innings on the tour of Australia, scoring 59 in Melbourne last December and 62 in Sydney last January.
“He is the best-equipped keeper-batsman right now in West Indies, the batting and balancing of the team has been weakened for a long time by them placing him to bat too high in Tests,” argued Dujon.
Former Barbados captain and West Indies wicketkeeper, Courtney Browne, last month, who took over chairmanship of the selection panel from legendary former West Indies captain Clive Lloyd last month, said going forward selection would depend on consistency and guided by “statistical analysis”.
“I’m very disappointed and confused.(It) brings into the question what really is the selection policy and their understanding of the importance and role of a wicket-keeper. Call me old fashioned, but I maintain the belief long after my playing days that you always pick your best keeper first – even more so in Test cricket,” said Murray who played for West Indies between 1963 and 1980.
“You asking him to bat in positions that specialist batsmen should be in and when he struggles – you drop him because he not making runs?” queried Murray.
Hendricks also shared Murray’s sentiments that Ramdin has not benefitted from an unbalanced Windies outfit over the years.
“I’ve been a little bit at sea at what the selectors are doing for a fair while now”, noted Hendricks, who played for West Indies between 1962 and 1969.