By Ravendra Madholall
Former Guyana and West Indies opening batsman Ryan Ramdass is backing West Indies to do well in their two-match test series against host-nation New Zealand.
The first test is set to bowl off on December 3 while the second encounter will commence December 10. The two teams are slated to clash in three T20s which will precede the five-day version as well.
West Indies who have been dominant in the T20 format will begin their campaign on Friday.
Ramdass strongly believes West Indies can conquer the Kiwis in every department even though New Zealand are currently ranked higher.
“I think West Indies have a good chance against New Zealand; the boys just have to back themselves and focus .We have a very good team everyone have experience both regional and international and the recall of [Darren] Bravo makes it better for them,” the 37-year-old Ramdass reveals.
According to Ramdass, who appeared for West Indies in a solitary test, the batting looks formidable and that should motivate them to score over 300 runs on every batting occasion.
“The batting line-up that includes Kraigg Braithwaite, , Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase and skipper Jason Holder is good enough to take us over 350 runs,” the Canada-based Ramdass related.
West Indies arrived in New Zealand some three weeks before the start of the tour and already engaged in a warm-up three-day match against a New Zealand ‘A’ team.
The fixture ended in a draw but one of their premier batsmen Bravo chalked up a brilliant century (135) while they (West Indies) are currently facing up the same opponents in a four-day practice match. Seasoned opener Brathwaite has already fashioned his way to a double-century during day 2 on Friday. In addition to Brathwaite, Bravo continued his prolific run by scoring 93.
Ramdass also mentioned that overseas assignment can be challenging but once the players can adopt quickly, things are expected to be easy.
“Playing on overseas conditions will be difficult but remember this is their profession and they have to adopt to conditions as fast as possible,” the right-handed Ramdass, who also represented the Caribbean boys in a one-day match against home team Sri Lanka in 2005, declared.
Notably, the series will be played behind closed doors owing to the on-going deadly COVID-19 Pandemic.
Earlier this year in the midst of the pandemic West Indies toured England where they were beaten 2-1 in their three-match test series but Ramdass stated that the guys can take out lots of positives from that tour.
“I think they will bounce back from that series loss; I am very such confident they would beat New Zealand in both tests,” Ramdass, who still plays professionally in North America, said.
Meanwhile, the bowling will hinge around veteran fast-bowlers Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel while support is expected from Alzari Joseph and Chemar Holder, both of whom are promising quickies.
Off-spinners Chase and Rakheem Cornwall along with medium-pacer Keemo Paul should provide great assistance.
West Indies test team reads: Jason Holder (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Chemar Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Keemo Paul and Kemar Roach.