India will struggle in the Test series if West Indies can field two good fast bowlers and the Caribbean pitches prove conducive for good cricket, former great Andy Roberts has said.
Antiguan Roberts, who was the linchpin in Clive Lloyd’s battery of speedsters who helped the Caribbean dominate world cricket for about two decades, however, is not sure the home pacemen have the ability to go on and help clinch a series. Excerpts:
Reason for decline in West Indies cricket?
I would personally put it down to the players not being committed. They don’t work hard to develop their limited skills. They must show more passion for the game and try to develop. I don’t think the cricket skills are there or the will to work hard at it.
Assessment of pace bowling, especially in this series
A team with the best pace attack will always win. Even when Sri Lanka won the odd Test match, it was due to Chaminda Vaas. It is not just the pace, it is the consistency and Vaas performed at the highest level.
In the last two series between England and Australia, the team that had the better pace attack won. It is good to have express pace but you have to manage and adapt. It won’t help if you are fast but wayward.
On the Indian pace attack
I said Munaf Patel was spinning the ball. Am I wrong? Again look at the context. When I saw him in 2006, he had a lot more pace than today. When you look at India’s Test results, Sreesanth is always ahead of Munaf. That is because he is quicker and far more aggressive. Zaheer is one of the better seamers. I do watch Indian cricket on TV. He is successful because he has learnt the craft, and at times he is very aggressive.
On West Indies chances in the Test series
If we can find two genuine fast bowlers for the first Test and we have pitches that are responsive, West Indies will have a very good chance.
Can Kemar Roach, Andre Russell and Ravi Rampaul do the job?
On a given day they can win a Test, but I am not sure they can go on and win a series. Maybe Phil Edwards may join the team and the attack will become stronger.
On Indian batsmen’s ability to tackle pace
I think it will be a problem for the Indian batsmen if the pitches have bounce. Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman are of course good players of pace bowling. But Sachin Tendulkar is also not there for this series. But we do need good
cricketing pitches in the Caribbean for the side to do well.
On Indian coach Duncan Fletcher saying India has the most depth in terms of talent
That depends on what talent he is referring to. Yes, he is correct as far as batting is concerned, but he is not correct as far as India’s bowling is concerned.
Does he take spin into that equation?
Apart from Harbhajan who is a world class bowler? Amit Mishra? I don’t know. Zaheer, yes, but neither Harbhajan nor Zaheer are talents, they are established players.
On controversies in Australia
It is just the cycle is spinning. It will go through a period. That is true for every team.