Roddy Estwick, West Indies pace-bowling assistant, is confident that the current seamers have it in them to emulate the famed West Indian quartet of the 1980s and 90s, and challenge any batting unit in the world.
The West Indies are set to lock horns with England in a three-match Test series in what is the first-ever international rubber after the Covid-19 enforced break.
The 25-man West Indian squad arrived in England on June 09 and have gradually started with their preparations to retain the Wisden Trophy, they won last year in the Caribbean [2-1].
“We’re beginning to get blessed with fast bowlers again in the West Indies, so that’s an exciting time for us,” Estwick was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
According to Estwick, the biggest change in the current crop of fast bowlers is their improved fitness.
*What we’ve done is improve our fitness. That’s one of the key things. If you look back in the 80s, that’s one thing the fast bowlers had, was fitness,” he added.
West Indies fast bowlers were the main reason behind their 2-1 win over England in 2019
The West Indian pace-attack consisting of Kemar Roach, Shanon Gabriel, Alzarri Joseph, and skipper Jason Holder will be keen to emulate their exploits of 2019 against England when they lock horns with the ‘3 Lions’ next month.
“The other thing is they’re now understanding fast bowling, they’re getting to the age, Kemar and Shannon, where they’re leading the attack, they’re very, very experienced. Jason Holder has become a lot better Test match bowler in the last two years, Alzarri Joseph is now beginning to show his potential. So we’ve got four fast bowlers where we can challenge any team in the world,” he added.
Estwick reckoned that fast bowling will be the key for the West Indies in this series besides alluding to the fact that they have enough options on the bench besides their four premium pacers.
“The fast bowling is very key to us. Shannon, Jason, Alzarri, Kemar. The four big fast bowlers, they’re here but what we’ve [also] got on this tour is a group of youngsters coming through: Chemar Holder, Oshane Thomas, Anderson Phillip,” he said.
“Once we’ve improved that fitness, we can maintain pressure right through the day – before we tended to flag a little bit – and while our fitness continues to improve, that’s going to be key for us. If we can get that fitness and match sharpness up again, we’ll be ready to challenge the English batters,” Estwick added.