T20 WC: Veteran pacer Rampaul ready to bowl the ‘tough overs’ for West Indies

Veteran pacer Ravi Rampaul on Sunday said that he is ready to take up the mantle of bowling the ‘tough overs’ — powerplay and slog overs — for the West Indies in the T20 World Cup, to be held in the UAE and Oman, despite being absent from the national team for many years.

Rampaul, who has been playing county cricket for a number of years as a Kolpak player, returned to the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in 2021 after a gap of four years and ended up as the highest wicket-taker of the tournament with 19 wickets in 10 matches at an average of 16.21 and an economy rate of 7.96 for Trinbago Knight Riders.

Moreover, 14 of those scalps came during the powerplay and the death in largely sluggish conditions.

“Yeah, definitely (see myself doing a top-tail role) for the West Indies,” Rampaul was quoted as saying by espncricinfo.

“I’ve done a lot of practice bowling in the three areas of T20 cricket and whatever situation I’ve to play for the West Indies, I’ll try to do my best. I strive on the tough areas of the game to come out on top. So, whatever situation I’m put under, I’ll try to come out on top,” he added.

Multiple injuries have troubled Rampaul in the past, but the 37-year-old felt that he is now in a better space to understand his body and work accordingly.

“With the experience gained, I know exactly what my body needs to perform. At a younger age, I didn’t know and I just wanted to continue playing cricket every day,” the pacer said.

“But, with the experience gained, playing over the years, I know exactly how I need to train — the sort of gym and running work I need to do, so with that experience right now, I feel I’m a bit better at preparing for more games that way,” he added.

The pace bowler also believes the Caribbean side has the required experience to handle different situations through the course of the tournament. Incidentally, Rampaul has the experience of putting up a good show in a T20 World Cup, having finished as the West Indies’ joint-highest wicket-taker in the 2012 tournament.

“I think going into big World Cup games, you would need experience.The team that was selected has a lot of experienced guys and a lot of young guys as well — guys that have played around the world in different conditions. We know that the games come quick and fast,” he said.

“The experienced guys, more so, will know how to manage themselves to play back-to-back games or play games every other day with recovery and getting stuff done. Yeah, the experience will help us throughout the tournament,” he added.

The defending champions West Indies will start their campaign with a match against England on October 23.