Ambrose believes WI pacers a threat
PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD - Former West Indies pacer Curtly Ambrose has warned Australia that the West Indian pacers are still a threat despite the prolific nature of spinners recently in the Caribbean.
“You cannot discount our pacers. No doubt, they are a threat to the Aussie batters. Kemar (Roach), Ravi Rampaul, Fidel (Edwards), Shannon Gabriel and (Tino) Best are very potent pacemen. While not all of them are in the West Indies team at the moment, we have depth in fast-bowling. They all have talent but they need more consistency,” Ambrose divulged.
He expressed delight with the progress of Roach in particular and hoped that he would be refining his bowling in the series to come.
“He (Roach) did well in the ODIs with the ball and he impressed with the bat too. Kemar has shone for quite some time now regionally and I think this Australia (series) is a time to shine.”
Roach scalped five wickets to restrict Australia to 311 in the first innings in the second Test as the Windies look to level the series.
Ambrose also urged Rampaul and Edwards to keep fit and improving to maintain healthy competition. He revealed that maturity was key to becoming an elite quickie, which enabled him to foster a lethal bowling partnership with fellow icon, Courtney Walsh.
“Fast-bowling is not about trying to take a wicket every delivery, especially in Test cricket. These guys need to be more patient and they will be even more effective. Proper line and length is essential…putting the ball in the right area and limiting the runs scored…then the wicket will come. West Indian pacers must still be feared. If you don’t, do so at your own peril,” added the ex-Northamptonshire player.
The 48 year-old Antiguan believes that county cricket and foreign exposure bettered the past Windies pace-bowlers and strengthened their game on the international stage.
He maintained that the Indian Premier League was not detrimental to fast-bowlers’ trade. Ambrose further stressed that the shorter versions of the game should not impact on how bowlers harness their skill for Tests. “These bowlers who play T20 cricket must not let their Test bowling suffer. They must be careful and strike a balance because Tests are the ultimate achievement. To prove who you are as a cricketer, you must do this at the Test level, which is why I enjoy seeing our pacers shine in Four-Day clashes,” he elaborated.
The former Leeward Islands pacer acknowledged that the limited overs results against Australia were a good sign but refrained from saying the West Indies were turning the corner.
“We are showing discipline at the moment and that is good. The first Test was a good performance…more so our first innings…but we must be patient. There were times before when people said the Windies cricket team was turning the corner…and then we took more steps backwards,” he added.
“We can only draw positives at this moment. Our boys are competing well and working hard to win the Tests. We barely lost the first match so the hunger, fight and commitment remain there. I’m elated for this and think we can spring a surprise on Clarkie’s (Michael Clark) team,” concluded Ambrose.