Sport

Ramdin believes spin magic will continue without ace Narine

BY SANJAY MYERS Observer staff reporter myerss@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, June 05, 2014    

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NEWLY-APPOINTED West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin is confident of his team's bowling for the three-Test match series against New Zealand, despite the absence of ace spinner Sunil Narine.

The off-spinner missed out on being a part of the regional squad because he was not able to make the June 1 training camp deadline set by the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). in

Under contractual obligations with Indian Premier League's (IPL) Kolkata Knight Riders, Narine chose to play for his franchise team in the final of that Twenty20 tournament.

"We are disappointed but we still have two world-class spinners in (left-arm finger spinner) Sulieman Benn and (off-spinner) Shane Shillingford," Ramdin told reporters shortly after the West Indies cricketers arrived in Jamaica for the first Test which is to commence at Sabina Park on Sunday.

"Any team that has Narine in the line-up would be amazing but we have to use what we have and hopefully we will overcome the New Zealanders."

Ramdin said the regional team, which lost 0-2 in three Tests away to New Zealand last year, will be boosted by the return from injury of pacers Kemar Roach and Jerome Taylor.

Marquee left-hander Christopher Gayle, struggling with a back ailment, is expected to feature in his hundredth Test for the

West Indies.

"We had a week [of practice] in Barbados, we had practice matches and the batters got something out of it. Hopefully the next two to three days we have here, the practice in the nets should be sufficient going into the

first Test.

"Young Kemar Roach is back and Jerome Taylor is bowling well and we have Shannon Gabriel. In the spinning department we have Sulieman Benn and Shane Shillingford and so far everything is good," said the 29-year-old Ramdin.

Given how well Shillingford did in New Zealand, the visitors' seeming weakness against good slow bowling and the spinner-friendly nature of Sabina Park, the West Indies skipper hinted that both front-line

spinners could feature in the starting XI.

"It's always good to have two spinners in the squad. We'll go there and see the pitch if it's suitable for that. I believe two spinners on that [Sabina Park] track will do well for us," Ramdin said

The second Test match is set to be played at the Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad & Tobago from June 16-20, while the third was recently shifted from the National Stadium in Guyana to the Kensington Oval in Barbados, and will run from June 26-30.

Squad — Denesh Ramdin (capt), Christopher Gayle, Kieran Powell, Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Jerome Taylor, Sulieman Benn, Kemar Roach, Shane Shillingford, Shannon Gabriel, Kraigg Brathwaite, Marlon Samuels, Jason Holder.

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