CAVE HILL, Barbados – West Indies wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin says he is looking to get the most out of the preparation period as he and team-mates get ready for the ICC Champions Trophy next month.
The 28-year-old, who has kept wicket for the Windies in 97 One-Dayers since his debut in 2005, believes it is vitally important that the team uses the build-up time wisely as they bid to win the Champions Trophy for the second time.
The team is a camp which started on Monday and will end on Friday. They will depart from Barbados on Saturday and have another camp in Cardiff, Wales from May 25 to June 2 as they try to get acclimatised to the foreign conditions.
“A tour to England or a tournament in England …it is always important to get there early to get used to the conditions. The weather is always unpredictable. You have to go there early and get accustomed to the outdoor conditions. Two and a half weeks is good time to get ready. We have two matches before our first match of the competition so that will be very good for us,” Ramdin said.
“We have two new balls now [in One-Day Internationals], not just one. It’s very challenging in England at this time of the year so having the right kind of preparation is great and should do the team a world of good.”
The ICC Champions Trophy will feature eight teams: Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies. The tournament will be played across three venues – Cardiff Wales Stadium, Edgbaston and The Oval – from June 6-23.
The Windies have been drawn in Group B alongside the Indians, the Pakistanis and the South Africans. They open against Pakistan on Friday, June 7 at the Oval and return to the famous venue on Tuesday, June 11 to take on India. The final preliminary match will be against the Proteas on Friday, June 14 in Cardiff.
“Hopefully we can get that in this tournament and get the chemistry right. The first game is very important. Once we can overcome in that game, it will give us some form of confidence,” Ramdin said.
“Pakistan is a team, you know, where anything can happen on the day with those guys. India is one of the best teams in the world along with Australia and South Africa. Those teams are playing really good one day cricket but with the conditions you never know.
“If you win the toss and put in a team, it’s two new balls that you’re using now so if you pick up four or five wickets in the first 20 overs you can set up a match…we have a good bowling unit as well.”
Ramdin outlined that he has been working overtime in his batting and glovework with Assistant Coaches Toby Radford and Andre Coley.
“I was making some mistakes with my technique but I have worked to correct that. I have been looking at footage and I have worked with the coaches. Going to England, I have done well there, so I will look to get it right,” he said.
He backed the team to be ready for 50-over format.
“The guys are professional cricketers and they have the ability to make that transition – the Chris Gayles, the Dwayne Bravos, the Kieron Pollards, those guys – they can sit down and bat and play long innings,” Ramdin added.
“They’ve been doing well in the IPL so that will be good for their confidence going into England. I’m sure they’ve done well in England before so it’s just about gelling together and the batters batting long in the middle.
“Fifty overs are a lot of balls so we’re not going to bash it around. We have a strong middle and lower order so if we get a good start with Gayle and the other guys at the top of the order we can capitalise lower down.”