When Ramnaresh Sarwan entered the international scene back in 2000, he was anointed as the next big thing in West Indies cricket. And while he has done exceedingly well in phases, he hasn’t quite lived to the expectations that there placed on him. The young shoulders couldn’t quite take the burden of a struggling outfit and as a veteran he has had to face issues with the cricket board and the team management. With him being dropped for the ongoing tri-series also featuring India and Sri Lanka, we look back at Sarwan’s rise and fall in ODIs.
Overall record: In 181 matches, Sarwan has scored 5804 runs at an average of 42.67, with five hundreds. While these numbers look reasonably impressive, the breakup of the same will give us a clear picture of his downslide.
The great phase (2000-2004): In this period, he played 73 matches and amassed 2342 runs averaging an excellent 48, with two hundreds. Sarwan’s average during this phase was particularly good against the stronger sides. Against England he averaged 55, against India 67, against New Zealand 43 and versus South Africa 53. His average was only on the lower side against the Aussies against whom he averaged 35.
Good run continues (2005-2008): Sarwan continued to flourish during this stage of his innings as well. In 64 matches, he notched up 2158 runs averaging 41. He managed one hundred during this phase, his highest of 115 not out. Sarwan however had stopped performing consistently against all teams. He continued to struggle against Australia, averaging only 24. And while his average remained high against India at 73, it fell against the others – 16 against England, 39 against New Zealand and South Africa as well. Even against Sri Lanka, he averaged only 23.
Still nothing to worry about (2009-2011): In this period, the West Indian played 36 matches and scored 1144 runs averaging 41 with one hundred. He averaged in the high 40s against India, New Zealand and Sri Lanka. But, against England, Pakistan and South Africa, he struggled averaging 26, 26 and 15 respectively. Sarwan did not play any matches against the Aussies during this period. If there is one aspect of his game that can be criticised during his first three phases, it is the fact that he managed only four hundreds during his elongated stretch.
The mighty fall (2012-present): In mid-2011, Sarwan dropped out of the squad following his fallout with the West Indies cricket board, just like Chris Gayle did. He even had some unkind words to say about the way cricket was being run in the Caribbean. In his last match before the long break, he made 75 and retired hurt against India at Kingston in Jun 2011. He made a comeback only a year and a half later, in February 2013. Since this return, however, he has been out of sorts. Apart from his 120 not out against Zimbabwe, his other scores have been 0,0,12,7*19,1 and 1.
--By A Cricket Analyst