At 32 years of age, Sarwan is one of the more senior members of the current West Indies squad. With a wealth of experience in all forms of the game, Sarwan’s maturity will provide a calming influence on some of the more exuberant players in the team. Although he hasn’t featured in the national side since 2011, don’t be surprised to see Sarwan take the field against an Australian side that has felt his wrath before.
Sarwan has often saved his best form for the Test arena, where his 87 match career has yielded 5842 runs. His 15 centuries have often come in testing times, with the gritty right-hander ranking in the top five for most fourth innings’ centuries.
Batting at number six, Sarwan showcased his talent with a fighting 84* on debut against Pakistan. It was the sort of innings that typified the first past of his career, with Sarwan falling agonisingly short of a century on several occasions. It wasn’t until his 50th inning that Sarwan reached triple figures; a solid 119 against Bangladesh.
During the trot of near misses, Sarwan also experienced a poor run of outs in Australia. The 2000/2001 series saw him score just three runs in five innings. However, like any good player, Sarwan vowed to improve his techniques against the Australians. His hunger for runs was rewarded in 2003 when his 105 led to a rare win in Antigua. Five years later, he feasted on the Australian attack with another century at the same venue.
Sarwan has enjoyed success against most cricketing nations. He has struck centuries against six different countries, but has saved his best for South Africa and England. In 2003, the West Indies toured the dominant South Africans hoping to spring an upset. Sarwan did everything he could, scoring 114 and 119 along the way, but the rest of the team struggled. He backed up that good form with another pair of tons against the same opposition in 2005 to become public enemy number one in South Africa.
If you think the South Africans hated the sight of Sarwan, spare a thought for the English. Back to back series at home and away saw Sarwan dismantle the English attack for three centuries and a double-ton. It was exhilarating batting, with his 291 at Barbados summing up his ability to up the ante when required.
His ODI stats are equally as impressive, with Sarwan averaging almost 144 from his 173 appearances. The classy West Indian has smashed four centuries in the 50 over game, and interestingly finished unbeaten in all four of those knocks. Sarwan hasn’t played for the international side since 2011, where he was forced to retire hurt on 75.
Arguably his most famous moment was another retired hurt scenario, when Sarwan was knocked out in a 2003 World Cup clash with Sri Lanka. Despite being felled by a vicious bouncer, Sarwan returned to almost snatch an unlikely win. His bravery was recognised by everyone at the ground in South Africa, and confirmed his status as one of the toughest men in the game.