WI look to Fidel for final flourish
The fast bowler hopes to carry on from where he left off at Old Trafford as they look to restore some pride against England.cricket Updated: Jun 15, 2007 15:30 IST
West Indies hope fast bowler Fidel Edwards can carry on from where he left off at Old Trafford as they look to restore some pride in the final Test against England.
Although, 2-0 down in the four-match contest, West Indies will be aiming to build on their improved showing in a 60-run third Test defeat when the series finale starts at Riverside here on Friday.
Old Trafford saw the return to Test cricket of Edwards, whose extra pace gave West Indies a physical threat they'd otherwise lacked so far this series. Often erratic, Edwards has an indifferent record of 67 wickets in 26 Tests at an expensive average of nearly 44 apiece.
But the 25-year-old Barbados round-arm paceman bowled better in Manchester than match figures of four for 148 in 32.1 overs would suggest.
"The timing was right for Fidel in that Test match," David Moore, the West Indies coach explained on Wednesday.
"He came in and bowled on a wicket that was hard and had a lot of bounce. He'd been short of top-quality cricket, so he needed some time to find his feet," added Moore.
However, the Australian stressed Edwards's pace was part of an overall bowling strategy.
"If Fidel is making them jump around a bit, we need someone down the other end to be putting pressure on as well. Corey Collymore is very much an unsung player for us. He's our top wicket-taker, he just keeps chipping away with a very good economy rate."
At Old Trafford, medium-pacer Darren Sammy's second innings figures of seven for 66 were the second-best by a West Indian on Test debut.
However, the 23-year-old all-rounder sustained a groin injury while batting on the last day and is now doubtful for the series climax.
West Indies' batting was bolstered last time out by a defiant second innings 116 not out from Shivnarine Chanderpaul - their first century of the series - who'd missed the record innings and 283 run defeat in the second Test at Headingley with a knee injury.
Moore said other players needed to follow Chanderpaul's lead if West Indies were to achieve what be only a third win in 39 Tests. "We've got players who are getting good starts and not going on, from getting 40 or 50 to 80 or 100."
Stand-in skipper Daren Ganga, leading the side after Ramnaresh Sarwan's tour-ending shoulder injury at Headingley, would relish a fifty after being lbw for five and nought to revived fast bowler Stephen Harmison at Old Trafford.
"Daren's an excellent tactician and excellent captain," said Moore.
"Unfortunately we haven't seen the best of his batting yet, but over the last six to eight months he's been averaging 40-plus, so I'm hoping his batting will come good for us."
England are set to recall swing bowler Matthew Hoggard, who has missed the last two Tests with a groin injury, in place of the wayward Liam Plunkett.
Hoggard's return should ease the burden on left-arm spinner Monty Panesar who has led England's attack this series with 17 wickets at under 21 apiece, including 10 for 187 at Old Trafford.
At times in that match, England didn't press home their advantage with both bat and ball.
"There was a little spell in the game when we weren't as ruthless as I would have liked," said England captain Michael Vaughan. "You've got to enjoy getting teams in the dirt."
Meanwhile opener Andrew Strauss will be looking to improve on a sequence of scores that have yielded just one hundred in his last 17 Test innings.
First Published: Jun 15, 2007 13:46 IST