By Neto Baptiste
Legendary West Indies fast bowler, Sir Curtly Ambrose, has cautioned a seemingly motivated and ambitious West Indies bowling attack — currently preparing for their opening Test against England on July 8 — not to over-estimate or try to predict what could happen based on past experiences and or conditions in England.
“Sometimes, because of the conditions, the ball does move around a bit in England but I just want to caution Alzarri and the other fast bowers, don’t go thinking that the ball is going to seam around and swing all over the place every day, it won’t happen,” he said.
“I’ve played in England many times in terms of County cricket and Test cricket and stuff and we have this notion that once we go to England the ball will be seaming all over the place and swinging, but it is not true. It happens sometimes, but most of the times, nothing happens. So I just want to caution Alzarri and the other guys to just be careful and just remember the things you’re doing to make you successful, continue to do them and try to find ways to improve.”
His advice comes as the team finalises preparations for the three Test series with the first Test scheduled for July 8 at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground.
Antiguan fast bowler Alzarri Joseph, during a recent interview, said he is anticipating movement and a better output during the pending series.
Sir Curtly believes the success of the regional team, however, hinges on their ability to post challenging scores throughout the series.
“It’s a decent squad. It is just kind of sad that Hetmyer and Darren Bravo are not part of it because it would have been a great experience for them, but at the same time you have to respect people’s decision. For me, personally, I think it is going to be a tough series as it is not going to be easy to beat England,” he said.
“What I believe can work for us is that anytime we put runs on the board, I believe we have enough firepower in the bowling department to take 20 wickets. But if you take 20 wickets and you’re not putting runs on the board then more often than not, you will struggle,” the former bowler added.
Sir Curtly, who claimed 405 wickets in 98 Tests, also expressed concerns over the form of captain Jason Holder going into the first match.
“If you’re going to play a couple of warm-up games prior to a Test match and you’re struggling a little bit … I am not saying he can’t go in the first Test and scores runs because he is good enough and he has to ability but you always want to start the series in some kind of form where your confidence is high. I don’t think Jason Holder’s confidence is all that high at the moment considering that he is struggling with the bat. I still believe he has a little time left to get himself in some kind of form before the Test match but, generally, batsmen like to go into a game with some runs behind their name,” he said.
Holder continued to struggle after being dismissed cheaply in the second and final intra-squad match at Emirates Old Trafford, on Tuesday.
This time around, the West Indies skipper made it to five, with his innings lasting just 13 deliveries. The disappointment at the crease followed on the all-rounder’s golden duck in the first internal match that ended in a draw last week.