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Shirin Sadikot in Ranchi

Rampaul elated to hit the ground running

T&T pacer delighted to put in winning show in his comeback game

Ravi Rampaul twisted his ankle during the opening game of the tri-series (against India and Sri Lanka) in July. That injury forced him to watch from the sidelines as his team, Jamaica Tallawahs, won the Caribbean Premier League. A couple of months of rehab and he is back in action, with Trinidad & Tobago in CLT20 2013.

Not only did he play T&T’s opening game, against Brisbane Heat, but turned the match around in his team’s favour with a scintillating display of bowling (4/14 in 3.4 overs). Three of those wickets came off his last five deliveries, when the match was tantalizingly poised.

In a post-match conversation with clt20.com, Rampaul reveled in his and his team’s fine start to the tournament and told us why T&T will be a force to reckon with this season.

Excerpts from the brief conversation:

What a start for you and your team!

We wanted to start the tournament with a win and we’re happy with how we played today. My performance was very good as well. I was recovering from an ankle injury for a couple of months and I’m happy to come back with such performance.

This is the last time T&T will play in the CLT20 as a regional team. That must make this tournament very special for you all

Yes, we came here with that in mind. They have the CPL (Caribbean Premier League) now and that means we will not play in this tournament as a country again. We are all determined to play our best cricket and grab this last chance of taking the trophy home.

T&T has been a team that other sides fear, right from CLT20 2009, but haven’t quite made it to the top. What is the reason?

I don’t know any specific reason, but one thing is that before this season we’ve always had to fight our way into the tournament through the Qualifiers. Also, the IPL teams always take some of our main players. This season, however, is different. We have a direct entry into the tournament and also have a couple of IPL stars in our team. So, we plan to go all the way.

How much will your stint with RCB in IPL 2013 help T&T?

Oh, it will help a whole lot! Playing for the RCB was a pleasure for me and there are a lot of things I learnt during those couple of months. Zaheer Khan, especially, gave me a lot of information, which I have tried to utilize to be a better T20 bowler. I now use my slower one and bumper more often and try to vary my pace a lot more.

What does having someone like a Brian Lara around do to a team?

He is a treasure to our team. He lends that boost to the guys to go out and fight. Personally, he helps me a lot as a bowler. I talk to him about batting and how a batsman would think in a particular situation.

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