Port of Spain, Trinidad, Apr 7 (UNI) Player of the tournament in the recently concluded Test series against Sri Lanka, Ramnaresh Sarwan has said the months spent outside the team had given him time to re-focus on his cricketing career.
''I've been out for 10 months, players tend to mature around 26-27 and then it carries on till they are 33-34 and I hope that is going to be the case for me,'' Sarwan said. ''I've certainly gained a lot of experience and I think I can use that.'' Sarwan has made a convincing return to the West Indies side ten months after a shoulder injury forced him out of action. His second-innings century here helped West Indies hold off a first-ever series defeat to Sri Lanka at home.
West Indies chased the target of 253 set by Sri Lanka with six-wickets to spare on the fourth day of the match. Sarwan added 157 runs with Shivnarine Chanderpaul in a crucial partnership for the fourth-wicket and fell when West Indies needed only 23 more to win.
''After we lost Marlon [Samuels] I knew I had to form a good partnership with Shiv [Chanderpaul]. The good thing was that Shiv was flowing and I didn't have to do all the scoring, he was positive and that paid off for us.
''I've been getting off to good starts in this series, I wanted to do the same, pick the bad balls and fortunately I was able to do that and go on and get the hundred,'' Sarwan said.
The right-handed stylish batsman scored 311 runs in the series at an average of 77.75 in the two Tests.
Meanwhile, the West Indies captain Chris Gayle was pleased to have Sarwan back in the side.
''Missing Sarwan really hurt us and it is good to have him back out there,'' Gayle said. ''He showed how important he is at number three. It is good to have him back, he looked the part and I have to give him credit. I hope he can build on this and capitalise on his good starts and get those hundreds - big hundreds.'' UNI XC RKM RAR GC1447