Sarwan targets repeat dose
Ramnaresh Sarwan has spoken of his desire to once again be the scourge of the England bowling attack this summer.
By Joe Drabble
Last Updated: 30/04/09 7:50am
West Indies batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan has spoken of his desire to once again be the scourge of the England bowling attack during the upcoming Test series.
The 28-year-old was instrumental in helping the Windies beat England in the winter - scores of 107, 94, 106 and a career-best 291 inspiring his nation to their first Test series win for five years.
Sarwan heads into this summer's two-Test series with an average of 42.57, his highest since he completed his first series in England nine years ago.
"It meant a great deal, I have said before that I do what is necessary for the team," he said.
"I am not a player who focuses on himself. I try to play my best and adapt to the team situation and I thought I did that pretty well in that series."
The tourists will once again be reliant on Sarwan, Chris Gayle and another seasoned player Shivnarine Chanderpaul to provide the batting backbone for the side.
And Sarwan believes he and his team-mates will have to replicate the hard work and strict fitness regime they deployed in the Caribbean if they are to win a first Test series in England since 1988.
"During the series I did a lot of work with our physiotherapist and I think the fitness work I did really helped with my concentration," he said.
"At the start of that series we said it was really important to get as consistent as we can and I think, not only myself, but all of us, tried really hard to get that.
"To win was great - obviously we haven't won a series in five years, and it was even more special to beat England at home.
"Myself, Chris and Shiv have played a lot of games and we haven't won too many series - and I am sure it also means a great deal to the younger players as well.
"The big change in our team has been the grit and determination that we have.
"I am not saying we never had it before but Chris has mentioned many times that we have really worked very hard on our game and we have developed an understanding with each other.
"Guys are pretty aware of what they need to do in certain situations."
West Indies clinched the winter series 1-0 after a first Test capitulation saw England stunned at Sabina Park by an innings and 23 runs.
However, England captain Andrew Strauss was impressed with the way his team-mates bounced back from that defeat, despite not securing a series-levelling win.
"I suppose there was potential for us to go off the rails and we didn't do that," admitted Strauss.
"To lose the Test series was bitterly disappointing, but I think the guys stuck together very well.
"It bodes well for the future but at the same time it's important we keep doing the hard work we've done and make sure it's not just a one-off, but part of an ongoing process and if we do that I'm sure we'll get the results on the pitch as well."