St.George's (Grenada): West Indies middle-order batsman Ramnaresh Sarwan says his confidence has returned after scoring an unbeaten century in the second one-day international against Zimbabwe.
The experienced 32-year-old was recalled for the recent five-match ODI Series in Australia but scored few runs including a series of ducks. However, Sarwan responded with an impressive batting display Sunday to guide the West Indies to a seven-wicket win over Zimbabwe at the Grenada National Stadium.
"I felt a burden lifted when I reached my hundred," declared Sarwan, who struck nine fours and two sixes in a composed innings that required 143 balls. "I was lacking a little confidence before this performance. So I have my confidence back now. When I hit the first few (shots) out of the middle of the bat, I felt good again."
Sarwan added 111 for the first wicket with left-hander Kieran Powell, who made 57 and maintained his good form. The well-crafted 120 not out was his career-best score - as he surpassed the 115 not out against India at Warner Park, St Kitts seven years ago.
It was also his first century since his hundred against minnows Ireland in April 2010 and his 15th overall in 178 ODIs. "I have been doing a lot of hard work," said Sarwan, the premier batsman in the West Indies squad with 5,783 runs in 178 matches at an average of 43.48 runs per innings.
"Everyone knows I didn't have the best tour of Australia, but I was determined to do well after I was given the opportunity to open the batting after Johnson Charles was unable to play." The Team management decided against risking Charles, who sustained a slight injury while scoring a century in the first ODI.
"The management and the captain asked me to do the job and move up, and for me I saw it as a great chance to bat 50 overs and get some runs under my belt," said Sarwan who opened the innings.
"I just have to continue from here and look to get better and get back to where I was a few years ago when I was fully on top of my game." The Windies won the opening match by 156 runs last Friday and the two teams will meet in the final match Tuesday at the same venue.