St. John's (Antigua), April 9: Captain Denesh Ramdin believes the experience of veteran left-hander Shivnarine Chanderpaul and of the team's pacers will be critical if the West Indies are to seriously challenge England in the upcoming three-match Test series.
The Windies face their old foes starting here on Monday, attempting to reverse a trend that has seen them win just two Tests in 27 outings over the last 15 years, reports CMC.
Ramdin said Chanderpaul's penchant for long innings in the middle order would be important for the West Indies tallying big scores.
"His experience is second to none [especially with] all those matches he has played at international level," the Trinidadian said on Wednesday.
"I'm sure he will go on to get the most runs for the West Indies as a Test player and I'm sure that's his goal but with his experience in the middle order, batting all those balls, getting his hundred, 70s or whatever, (we need) guys to bat with him to get partnerships and get big totals so we have opportunities to win matches.
"The last time England were here, we won 1-0 in that series. It was a very hard-fought series. Hopefully, we can get good things going in this series again."
After dominating England in the 1980s and early 1990s, the Windies have struggled in recent years.
They have suffered 17 defeats since the turn of the century and have lost all but one series in 2009 when a shock innings-win at Sabina Park handed them success in the five-match series.
Ramdin said though he was under no illusions about the size of the task, he believes that new-ball bowlers like Jerome Taylor and Kemar Roach, along with frontline spinner Sulieman Benn, would be crucial in limiting England's batting machine, especially in Caribbean conditions.
"It is going to be a tough grind. The series is going to be set up by big scores and that hour, hour-and-a-half of aggressive bowling where you can pick up a couple wickets and a bowler can change a match for us so it can go either way but hopefully it can be on our side," Ramdin noted.
"When you go away and play against the opposition, they put you in their conditions and exploit it quite well so I can't see why our bowlers can't do it at home."
Ramdin has also placed pressure on himself to perform. He averages a respectable 33 against the English and has hit two hundreds including a career-best 166 at Kensington Oval during the 2009 series.
However, he struggled last year, averaging just under 23 from eight Tests but is looking to rebound.
"I have two half-centuries and a couple of half centuries against the opposition so I'm looking forward to getting stuck in to their bowling attack," Ramdin said.
"They have a good bowling attack, you can't take that away from them but you just need to spend time out there. As a batter, once you spend time out there, it becomes easier."