Pacer stops Sachin’s bid for special milestone
Reveals he planned wicket with Coach Gibson
Mumbai, India — West Indian fast bowler Ravi Rampaul admitted it was a “good feeling” as his plan to dismiss Sachin Tendulkar short of his 100th international century worked to perfection. Rampaul, the hard-working right-armer, had Tendulkar caught by captain Darren Sammy at second slip for 94 — six runs short of the landmark in the morning session on Friday.
Speaking after the day’s play, Rampaul outlined how he and West Indies Head Coach Ottis Gibson planned the move and worked on it in the morning warm-up before play started on the fourth day of the third and final Test match at the Wankhede Stadium.
“Leading up to this morning, the coach and I had a chat during warm-ups about how I was going to bowl at him (Tendulkar). We discussed it and we felt the best way was to get close to the wicket and angle the ball away from him and look to get the nick taken in the slips,” the 27-year-old said.
“It feels really good that it worked that way. The ball before bounced a bit and you could see he seemed a little worried. He was batting out of his crease to get the ball a little fuller. I realised that and altered my length. It was just the right ball at the right time. The atmosphere was huge and there was lot of crowd support for him. It was a big moment. He is a big wicket.”
By dismissing Tendulkar, Rampaul broke the hearts of millions of Indian fans. He could not contain his delight and celebrated by placing his hand over the West Indies crest on his shirt.
“This is who I represent — West Indies cricket. Playing for West Indies means a lot to me and I see it as an honour to put on the West Indies shirt and cap and take the field. It was a big wicket, not just because we denied him the landmark but also because we were looking for early wickets to stay ahead in the game. There is still a Test match going on and we were not just focussing on Sachin, but the overall picture,” Rampaul said.
Rampaul ended the innings with 3-95 off 24.2 overs as India were bowled out for 482 in reply to West Indies’ first innings 590. Off-spinner Marlon Samuels took career-best figures of 3-74. West Indies will resume on Saturday at 81-2, an overall lead of 189.
So far this year Rampaul has been one of the leading bowlers in the West Indies team. This is his eighth Test match and he has 28 wickets at 25.71 each. After getting Tendulkar’s wicket Rampaul said he was jeered a bit by some members of the crowd but he was not worried.
”Yeah, I got that (jeers) as soon as Sachin went. I went back to the boundary and all that time I was heckled. That’s life, you know. A lot of fans had their hearts broken but we can’t just let him (Tendulkar) go there and let him live freely. It’s a Test match and we are fighting hard to win. We have a job to do.”
West Indies captain Darren Sammy said he was delighted with Rampaul’s effort, not just on Friday, but throughout the year.
“Ravi bowled with great heart and kept us in the game. He had a good plan of how to get Sachin’s wicket and it worked superbly. He was patient and tried to make sure he got the ball in the right areas. When he hit the edge and I saw ball coming there was just one thing on my mind — that I had to hold on to it.
“That was just part of the overall picture. We wanted to get as big a lead as possible so we could stay on top in this Test match. We have worked hard as a team. Nothing comes easy at this level. We just want to stay focussed and take our chances when they come our way — with bat, ball and in the field.”