West Indies wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin is looking forward to the upcoming tour of England with optimism and wants to take advantage of his Test recall to cement his place in the regional squad for at least the next five years.
Speaking to the Express yesterday, Ramdin said he is eager to restart his Test career after being dropped from the Test squad in 2010 after the Digicel home series against South Africa.
"I am happy to be back in the setup after being out of the team for so long. It feels good to be back and it is always good to get another chance at the highest level and hopefully I can take advantage of the opportunity and cement my place in the Test team, at least for the next five or six years," said Ramdin.
Ramdin, who is the only specialist wicket-keeper in the 15-man side that will oppose England in three Tests, three ODIs and one T20I between May 5 and June 24, said that he missed playing in the longer version of the game and is relishing his return, which was made possible by the below par performances of Carlton Baugh in the recent series against Australia.
The 27-Year-old Ramdin, who played 42 Test for the West Indies between 2005 and 2010, added: "It is an opportunity for me to go out there and secure my pick. It is going to be a challenge but I am looking forward to it. I miss playing."
Ramdin, who toured England twice before, insisted that the conditions would be tough for the West Indies players to cope with but was also confident that they could adapt and give the host a good challenge.
The last time Ramdin made the trip to England, he scored two half centuries as West Indies lost the two-Test series 2-0.
"It is good to be part of this (fighting) unit. We did not do too badly against Australia. We did not lose in three days and we gave them a good fight (and) I think we can give England a tough fight," said Ramdin.
Speaking about the conditions the team will have to cope with in England, Ramdin said: "This time of year is very cold; the swinging ball is another part of it. The players will have to adapt to the conditions quickly but you could never say you are prepared for the conditions. We have to see it how it goes. As outside players, the weather is always changing and you have to adapt and be on top of the opposition."
Of his form with the bat, Ramdin said: "It is not bad. I am trying to work every day to get back form and as when we get to England, hopefully we can do some more work during the warm-up matches. We have two warm-up matches before the Test at Lords so hopefully I can get a good knock before the series starts."
The right-hand batsman has also set some big goals for himself on this tour. "I am looking to get at least three half centuries and even a century and hopefully, help the team win," Ramdin concluded.
The Test phase of the tour runs from May 5 to Jun 11.
West Indies open with a three-day match against Sussex starting May 5 and will engage England Lions, the country's A side, in a four-day game from May 10, before the first Test bowls off at Lord's on May 17.
SQUAD: Darren Sammy (captain), Kirk Edwards (vice-captain), Adrian Barath, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Fidel Edwards, Assad Fudadin, Shannon Gabriel, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Marlon Samuels, Shane Shillingford