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Monday, 25 November 2013

Enjoyed Virat Kohli’s wicket: Ravi Rampaul


With 8-0-39-1 in Kochi followed by 10-0-60-4 in Vizag, Ravi Rampaul has emerged as the best pace bowler on both sides in the ODI series so far. It is not only the numbers though but how he picked those wickets and the form of the batsmen he dismissed that makes one think, ‘Why wasn’t this guy part of the West Indies team in the Test series?’ Part of the reason is that he was recovering from his ankle injury.  (Also Read: Report: India vs West Indies - 2nd ODI, Visakhapatnam, 2013)
But in the second ODI in Vizag, Rampaul looked fit as a fiddle. And his four scalps were inclusive of India’s most in-form batsmen, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. You could see there was a plan in place and the batsman was being set up. As the plan unraveled, the sturdy Windies pacer bowled his team to their first win of the tour – a two-wicket win to level the series 1-1. (Also Read: Stats Highlights: India vs West Indies - 1st ODI, Visakhapatnam, 2013)
In a chat with bcci.tv Rampaul revealed the strategies he had for both batsmen and how they worked. He also expressed his desire to return to the Test fold.
You love bowling in and against India, don’t you?
Yes, the pitches here are similar to what we have back home so I am accustomed to them. Also, India is No. 1 team in the world so I have to bring my A game to get wickets against them, which I’m gad I have done at times.
You got Rohit and Virat out today – India’s most in-form batsmen. Which one did you enjoy more?
I would say, Virat, because he was on 99. The last time we played India here (in 2011), he scored a hundred (117) and it was good to not let him do it again today.
Did you plan Rohit’s wicket with those teasing outside off deliveries and two slips in place?
Yes, we planned to bowl outside off-stump to him with two slips and a gully. He has scored a lot of runs down there against us in the previous matches. So we tempted him to hit the wide balls in that area today and it worked.
Was that short ball to your RCB captain a ploy to unnerve him on 99?
Throughout his innings we didn’t try even one short ball. When he neared his century the field was set pretty close and I thought, why not try a short ball and see what happens. It worked.
West Indies have been struggling with batting right through this tour. Do you play a part in helping them overcome their problems from a bowler’s perspective?
Yes, we had a talk about it and we reflected on what areas we went wrong. We spoke about the need to rotate the strike and taking the game to the last over. The batsmen implemented that today and hopefully we will continue this batting form in the last match too.
The way you have been bowling, where were you during the Test series?
I had a couple of injuries and then some of the other guys earned their place in the side. I miss playing Test cricket but that’s how the game goes. You give some of the other guys the opportunity to see how they develop. Hopefully, I will regain my full fitness and strength to bowl long spells in Test and join the team again.


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