By Neto Baptiste
Legendary West Indies fast bowler, Sir Curtly Ambrose, though welcoming the regional side’s 2-1 T20 series win over Sri Lanka here on Sunday, believes there is still a lot of work to be done where batting is concerned.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, the Antiguan said that although hitting boundaries is an exciting part of the game, batsmen must also make an effort to rotate the strike by scoring singles.
“Our cricketers have this notion that it’s all about power-hitting in terms of fours and sixes and when I talk I am taking from experience because I spent two years with the senior team so I know. Their notion is that ‘we are power-hitters’ so fours and sixes is the way to go. Now, ones and twos, rotation of strike, keeping the scoreboard ticking doesn’t feature much in this equation for them so that is one of the reasons why we are so inconsistent because when we can’t get the boundaries we soak up a lot of dot balls and can’t rotate the strike and keep the scoreboard ticking,” he said.
West Indies won the third and final match at the Coolidge Cricket Ground on Sunday by three wickets to take the series 2-1 after the visitors had won the second match to level the series at 1-1 on Friday. West Indies won the opening fixture by four wickets.
Ask about the decision to recall a number of the more seasoned players for the recent T20 series, Sir Curtly said that although he is still a bit skeptical regarding one of three players, he believes more time is needed before an ultimate judgement is passed.
“Bringing him back after about eight or nine years out of international cricket and at 39, even though they say he is bowling well, I don’t know, there is still a question mark about it because it’s not like a year or two, we’re talking about eight or nine years and to me, that’s like backing up a little bit. I still would want to see what can be done going forward because it’s not really the best thing to judge a man after just one or two games,” he said.
“In terms of Chris Gayle, I don’t have a problem with Chris Gayle playing T20. They brought him back as well after two years so I never really worry about that because he’s the kind of guy that can be very destructive still. We may not see the kind of consistency from him that we are accustomed to and let’s be honest, he is 41 but I still believe he could play a little role,” Sir Curtly added.
The former right-arm pacer who claimed 225 wickets in 176 One Day International (ODI) matches, however believes strongly that Dwayne Bravo still has much to offer the regional as a fast bowler.
“He is still a good cricketer, very smart and one of the things why I think he is an asset to this team is the death bowling. Over the years, we have suffered a lot in death overs and Bravo is very skilled at that and more often than not, he can bowl well in the death so I think we need that because for us to be successful, we also need good death bowlers,” Sir Curtly said.
The West Indies will now turn their attention to the ODI Series set to begin at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium at North Sound on March 10, 2021.