India v West Indies, 3rd Test, Mumbai November 21, 2011

Sammy hints at four-pronged pace attack

ESPNcricinfo staff
24

There was an interesting picture taken during West Indies' training session on Sunday afternoon that captured the divide between the glory of the past and the uncertainty of the current team. The focus was Courtney Walsh, the former West Indies fast bowler and legend, dressed casually in a grey T-shirt and jeans; he stood with Darren Sammy, the West Indies captain, Fidel Edwards and Kemar Roach. His left palm was turned upwards as if asking a casual question but his long fingers pointed directly at Edwards as if to say "are you ready to step up the plate?"

Edwards, with 50 Tests and 152 Test wickets, is leader of the Caribbean pace pack which includes Roach, Ravi Rampaul and Sammy. Yet, Edwards has just three wickets so far in the two Tests he has played while Rampaul and Roach, who have played one match each, have only a couple of victims each to their credit. Sammy, much slower in pace, has been the best seam bowler for the visitors with seven wickets.

Edwards and co. could cite the slowness of the surface in Delhi and its flatness in Kolkata. Now they're at the Wankhede, where the last five matches have produced results; the pitch has always offered the fast men good bounce and is likely to be the most supportive for fast bowlers among the three venues in this series. Keeping that in mind, Sammy hinted that that West Indies may field all their three main fast bowlers- a quartet with him included. It lacks the teeth of the great Caribbean quartets but it is a credible option for West Indies in their efforts to avoid a 3-0 whitewash, their first in six years.

"That's something we are looking at," Sammy said when asked about the likelihood of fielding a seam attack. "Throughout the Test series, the pacers have been the ones getting the wickets for us. We will look at that and hopefully we could come up with the right XI to at least salvage a draw or a win here."

Walsh, who had 43 wickets in seven Tests in India, at an average of 18.55 including three five-fors, gave his heirs some tips to succeed;. Fast bowling is akin to marathon running, he told them; you can't sprint all the time. To exercise control over the batsman you need to remain patient. You can't just be aggressive all the time especially on unresponsive tracks.

"Courtney always has some advice and he is always willing to share his experiences with the team," Sammy said. "Yesterday I think while chatting he said to the bowlers that we have got to be more patient. He told Fidel to take the lead that sometimes it's not about getting a wicket every ball and that he has to be patient."

Sammy said Edwards was happy to chat with a stalwart like Walsh. "Fidel agreed, and, so far yesterday and today he's been focusing on being patient in the nets and looking to lead the attack," Sammy said. "It's always good when you have former players passing on their knowledge and that's something we always welcome."

According to Sammy, the bounce on the practice pitches was encouraging, something he hopes from the actual match pitch. "There's been something in it for the fast bowlers and the batsmen seem to be playing their shots."

Regardless of the state of the pitch, Sammy also had a word of advice for his bowlers. "If our bowlers decide to bowl short, bowl bouncers, they could get something out of the wicket. We saw in the Caribbean when we were aggressive at the Indian batsmen, although Sachin, Sehwag and Gambhir were not present, when we bowled short we created some opportunities. Let's hope it's a good wicket where there is something in it for the bowlers and batsmen."

Even if it is not to their expectations they have the Walsh formula to fall back on.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • everfaithful77 on November 22, 2011, 3:41 GMT

    WALSH should be hired as Windies bowling CONSULTANT to pass on his tremendous knowledge and know-how to our bowlers. I think the 4 pronged seam attack is not a bad idea but not at the expense of Bishoo. You must have a genuine spinner to exploit a crumbling wicket and avoid a one-dimensional attack that will be massacred by the Indian batsmen once fatigue sets in.The team SELECTORS would have to consider dropping Brathwaite for this game and opening with Kirk Edwards and Barath in order to play the additional bowler. I agree that Rampaul tires quickly after his first spell so should be used only in short spells of 4 or 5 overs max. He and Sammy are our most accurate bowlers. Roach and Edwards are quick but should be more patient and bowl more consistently on or about off stump using bouncers and yorkers as surprise weapons. Sammy needs to rediscover his OUT- SWINGERS that fetched him 7 English wickets on debut. Also Fidel. THE INDIANS PREFER THE BALL SWINGING IN THAN SWINGING AWAY.

  • LSmith on November 22, 2011, 2:06 GMT

    way to go courteny...ask to bend back of your fast bowlers, Indians will crumble for sure...you have nothing to lose...

  • on November 22, 2011, 1:27 GMT

    Metman knows nothing about cricket. where has he been the past ten years when all those players he mentioned were in the team and losing?? probably in the clouds....

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 22, 2011, 1:23 GMT

    Bishoo is too good a spinner to be dropped. And, above all, he seems to have Sachin's number. If he can prevent Sachin from getting to a century in this test and IF Sachin doesn't play in the ODIs in this series, then that in itself will be a huge baggage for India in Australia. Sachin's and his fanatics' preoccupation with his useless personal landmark will be a huge negative point for India in Australia just as it was in England. Sammy and the Windies thinktank are losing a plot or two here if they drop Bishoo. Australia will be keenly looking forward for Sachin to not to get to a century in the ongoing series.

  • Phat-Boy on November 22, 2011, 0:48 GMT

    Why does the best combination not include the best bowler (statistically) the West Indies have got? FOR GOODNESS SAKE, GET OVER IT!!!! He isn't fast, and yes he is captain in the absence of a better cricketer. BUT HE IS THE BEST PERFORMED WEST INDIES BOWLER ON THIS TRIP AND THIS YEAR.

  • on November 22, 2011, 0:33 GMT

    The Windies need to play 5 bowlers as they are not bowling India Out. 4 man pace attack on unresponsive pitches will mean the bowlers getting tired out and Sammy unable to rotate the bowling around because of the 4 man pace attack. Samuels can't hold an end up like a specialist spinner. Bishoo or most probably Benn needs to play with 4 bowlers. The batsmen and Baugh need to take more responsibility.

    My bowlers for the Windies for this match would be...

    Sammy Benn Rampul Edwards Roach

  • on November 22, 2011, 0:27 GMT

    Sammy is the leading wicket taker for us and you all still want him out of the team. Man you got to be dreaming.

  • PaddyRasta on November 22, 2011, 0:01 GMT

    @zico123 I agree with you. I have the same argument when people say we need to play 5 specialist bowlers (including Sammy) - If 4 specialist bowlers (and Samuels) can't do the job, then 5 wont either. And why are India only playing 2 pacemen? Do they not know something about their own pitch and conditions? It would be ludicrous leaving out a specialist spinner like Bishoo - the pitch also changes during a Test match. If they don't play a spinner, then they wont be able to exploit that option when it arises.

  • on November 21, 2011, 22:54 GMT

    OK... it is true that Sammy is not a very fast bowler and I am not a big Sammy fan. However, I dont understand why some people continue to beat up on him even in this series when he is the leading wicket taker among the seam bowlers and when he is making a contribution with the bat. He must be doing something right.

    I am beginning to think that there is much more to these attacks than we see on the surface.

  • bobagorof on November 21, 2011, 22:47 GMT

    @Riad Hosein: no need to shout, mate. And Sammy may not be fast but, as the article says, he's been the side's best bowler in the series - by some stretch. Two spinners may be an option if the pitch warrants it, but WI's leading spinner is averaging 65+ in the series, which isn't a compelling argument against the four-pace option.

  • everfaithful77 on November 22, 2011, 3:41 GMT

    WALSH should be hired as Windies bowling CONSULTANT to pass on his tremendous knowledge and know-how to our bowlers. I think the 4 pronged seam attack is not a bad idea but not at the expense of Bishoo. You must have a genuine spinner to exploit a crumbling wicket and avoid a one-dimensional attack that will be massacred by the Indian batsmen once fatigue sets in.The team SELECTORS would have to consider dropping Brathwaite for this game and opening with Kirk Edwards and Barath in order to play the additional bowler. I agree that Rampaul tires quickly after his first spell so should be used only in short spells of 4 or 5 overs max. He and Sammy are our most accurate bowlers. Roach and Edwards are quick but should be more patient and bowl more consistently on or about off stump using bouncers and yorkers as surprise weapons. Sammy needs to rediscover his OUT- SWINGERS that fetched him 7 English wickets on debut. Also Fidel. THE INDIANS PREFER THE BALL SWINGING IN THAN SWINGING AWAY.

  • LSmith on November 22, 2011, 2:06 GMT

    way to go courteny...ask to bend back of your fast bowlers, Indians will crumble for sure...you have nothing to lose...

  • on November 22, 2011, 1:27 GMT

    Metman knows nothing about cricket. where has he been the past ten years when all those players he mentioned were in the team and losing?? probably in the clouds....

  • Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on November 22, 2011, 1:23 GMT

    Bishoo is too good a spinner to be dropped. And, above all, he seems to have Sachin's number. If he can prevent Sachin from getting to a century in this test and IF Sachin doesn't play in the ODIs in this series, then that in itself will be a huge baggage for India in Australia. Sachin's and his fanatics' preoccupation with his useless personal landmark will be a huge negative point for India in Australia just as it was in England. Sammy and the Windies thinktank are losing a plot or two here if they drop Bishoo. Australia will be keenly looking forward for Sachin to not to get to a century in the ongoing series.

  • Phat-Boy on November 22, 2011, 0:48 GMT

    Why does the best combination not include the best bowler (statistically) the West Indies have got? FOR GOODNESS SAKE, GET OVER IT!!!! He isn't fast, and yes he is captain in the absence of a better cricketer. BUT HE IS THE BEST PERFORMED WEST INDIES BOWLER ON THIS TRIP AND THIS YEAR.

  • on November 22, 2011, 0:33 GMT

    The Windies need to play 5 bowlers as they are not bowling India Out. 4 man pace attack on unresponsive pitches will mean the bowlers getting tired out and Sammy unable to rotate the bowling around because of the 4 man pace attack. Samuels can't hold an end up like a specialist spinner. Bishoo or most probably Benn needs to play with 4 bowlers. The batsmen and Baugh need to take more responsibility.

    My bowlers for the Windies for this match would be...

    Sammy Benn Rampul Edwards Roach

  • on November 22, 2011, 0:27 GMT

    Sammy is the leading wicket taker for us and you all still want him out of the team. Man you got to be dreaming.

  • PaddyRasta on November 22, 2011, 0:01 GMT

    @zico123 I agree with you. I have the same argument when people say we need to play 5 specialist bowlers (including Sammy) - If 4 specialist bowlers (and Samuels) can't do the job, then 5 wont either. And why are India only playing 2 pacemen? Do they not know something about their own pitch and conditions? It would be ludicrous leaving out a specialist spinner like Bishoo - the pitch also changes during a Test match. If they don't play a spinner, then they wont be able to exploit that option when it arises.

  • on November 21, 2011, 22:54 GMT

    OK... it is true that Sammy is not a very fast bowler and I am not a big Sammy fan. However, I dont understand why some people continue to beat up on him even in this series when he is the leading wicket taker among the seam bowlers and when he is making a contribution with the bat. He must be doing something right.

    I am beginning to think that there is much more to these attacks than we see on the surface.

  • bobagorof on November 21, 2011, 22:47 GMT

    @Riad Hosein: no need to shout, mate. And Sammy may not be fast but, as the article says, he's been the side's best bowler in the series - by some stretch. Two spinners may be an option if the pitch warrants it, but WI's leading spinner is averaging 65+ in the series, which isn't a compelling argument against the four-pace option.

  • bobagorof on November 21, 2011, 22:39 GMT

    I always find it interesting when great players pass on their knowledge in this way, but I have to ask: why does Fidel not already know this? He's 29 years old and has been in international cricket for 8 years. With 50 Tests to his name, he really should be passing this knowledge on to the younger charges - not needing to be told, himself. In any case, it will be good to see West Indies putting together a good pace attack.

  • Metman on November 21, 2011, 22:12 GMT

    Sammy in a 4 prong pace attack,as we say here in Bdos,' man you got to be making sport'.Sammy ,you are no more than military medium ! With all things being equal,no controversies ,no bad blood etc.,a WI team with,Gayle,Edwards,Bravo,Sarwan capt.,Chanders,Samuels,Simmons keeper,Taylor,Edwards, Roach and either Benn or Bishoo,would have been a force to be reckoned with by this time.If the captaincy wasn't taken from Sarwan sometime ago,all like now he would have been in the team and performing.Simmons should have been groomed a LONG time ago.Rampaul tires too easily in test cricket,....good for only a first spell.....more suitable for the shorter forms of the game.K.Edwards,F.Edwards and Roach,not suitable for the shorter forms.Russell,Dwayne Bravo and Sammy could be their replacements.Right now K.Brathwaite and Powell look promising,but both look too green for tests.I,however,wish them well.Watch out for Carlos Brathwaite though,..looks promising !

  • BigGeorgeMehemood on November 21, 2011, 22:07 GMT

    DROP DIS MAN ROACH FROM DE TEAM!! Dis boy finished, him done. Ramphal must play every match and never get drop. Why dem drop him last test? Why? These coconut head selectors have mud, thick mud in dem skull!

  • Nampally on November 21, 2011, 21:50 GMT

    The heading says "Sammy Hints at 4 pronged Pace Attack"!. I say bring it on.Sammy has hinted he woud go with 8 bowlers at the start of the series and also said he would go with all pace attack. 2 Tests later he is still saying it. What is new?. Fidel, Roach, Rampaul have already been tried along with medium pace of Sammy. WI should thank their lucky stars that Sehwag & Gambhir are not going in full stride yet. If these guys get centuries, they can make any pace attack look mediocre at best. I hope they rise to the occasion and finish the last test on a sound note. I won't add anything about Fab 3.They know what is expected of them. Dravid wants to finish with the 6th century in the year to equal the record held by Yusuf.Indian spin twin may again demonstrate how spin rules in India whether it is Kotla or not. So all the cry about pace is futile.On a fast outfield and a sporting wicket, expect a run fest test match. I expect 2 out of Kohli, Aaron & Rahul to play.Good Luck both teams.

  • on November 21, 2011, 21:41 GMT

    The use of the 3 pacers is the correct move. H/ever since we r not dropping Sammy, we will have to make some batting changes. Edwards is a good #3,& as such should be able to open. If Shiv is fit, Kraigg will sit out. Next option, Open with Baugh, he plays pace well. If we win the toss we will win or draw this test. Sammy may still have a role to play as a bowler, he gets wickets by unforced errors. And yes our bowlers need to be a little more patient. C U IN INDIA.

  • on November 21, 2011, 20:32 GMT

    i sense india playin rahul sharma nd aaron tomm instead of ashwin nd ojha

  • on November 21, 2011, 20:30 GMT

    ravi, fidel, roach and who, sammy your are NOT FAST SAMMY. BEST COMBINATION DOES NOT INCLUDE YOU. DAYS OF FOUR PRONG PACE HAVE LONG GONE. DEVELOP YOUR BEST BOWLERS WHICH INCLUDE SPINNERS, YES SPINNERS. WHATS WRONG HAVING TWO SPINNERS WHO ARE ATTACKING NOT TO JUST TIE UP AN END. BISHOO NARINE BENN ARE ALL ATTACKING. TEST CRICKET IS ABOUT GETTING 20 WICKETS, AND NOT TO HAVE 600 SCORED ON YOU.

  • cricketdebator on November 21, 2011, 20:22 GMT

    In addition to the Walch fornula, the best way to get a batsman is to restrict him from scoring, and bowling wicket to wicket on a good length is a proven method of doing so. Put the ball in the batsma's court and force him to take risk if he wants to score. When the ball is heading for the stumps and the batsman is good enough to score from it, then hats off to him. However, he will always be conscious of the consequences of missing the ball. With regards to Edwards, although at times he looks theatening, most of the time his bowling is easy pickings for the batmen. He needs to exert much more control in line and length, and restrict the batsmen from scoring as freely as they do from his bowling.

  • on November 21, 2011, 19:56 GMT

    Maybe if West Indies adds Cuba to the Federation we could get some of those great Cuban baseball pitchers! And why is Sammy now considered a fast bowler?

  • zico123 on November 21, 2011, 19:01 GMT

    4 men pace attack will be too one dimentional, if 3 quicks can't do the job, 4th won't either, also their over rate will be slow, means Captain will suffer match fee cut

  • zico123 on November 21, 2011, 18:59 GMT

    India should play Varun Aaron and Ajinkye Rahane by resting Ishant and (Dravid or Laxman) as part of the audition for Australia series, Kohli or Rohit should play at no. 6

  • on November 21, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    Go with the 4 pronged pace. Let Chanderpaul bowl some spin along with Samuels.

  • LifeWithBoundaries on November 21, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    What a great shot! I always welcome pace attack from the WI. Thats the West Indian legacy. Hope someday WI will play at least three genuine fast bowlers on any pitch and in any format. What a fun would it be to see then charging in to bowl 90 milers. Glory days of the yesteryear are not that far away for the WI and its supporters. We will rejoice yet again. It seems WI is trying a broad spectrum of players for the years ahead. When everything comes together, it will be the best! Whats funny about this picture? See the difference in the height! Sadly Sammy stands upto Walsh in height but not in pace. But he has been the successful WI seamer on this series. All the best with avoiding the Whitewash. Lets keep it the way it has been for the last six years.

  • Rahulbose on November 21, 2011, 17:05 GMT

    Just get Walsh to play, he will pick up more wickets than anyone they have in the team. As for the report calling this lot a pace quartet, nice one LoL.

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  • Rahulbose on November 21, 2011, 17:05 GMT

    Just get Walsh to play, he will pick up more wickets than anyone they have in the team. As for the report calling this lot a pace quartet, nice one LoL.

  • LifeWithBoundaries on November 21, 2011, 17:53 GMT

    What a great shot! I always welcome pace attack from the WI. Thats the West Indian legacy. Hope someday WI will play at least three genuine fast bowlers on any pitch and in any format. What a fun would it be to see then charging in to bowl 90 milers. Glory days of the yesteryear are not that far away for the WI and its supporters. We will rejoice yet again. It seems WI is trying a broad spectrum of players for the years ahead. When everything comes together, it will be the best! Whats funny about this picture? See the difference in the height! Sadly Sammy stands upto Walsh in height but not in pace. But he has been the successful WI seamer on this series. All the best with avoiding the Whitewash. Lets keep it the way it has been for the last six years.

  • on November 21, 2011, 18:34 GMT

    Go with the 4 pronged pace. Let Chanderpaul bowl some spin along with Samuels.

  • zico123 on November 21, 2011, 18:59 GMT

    India should play Varun Aaron and Ajinkye Rahane by resting Ishant and (Dravid or Laxman) as part of the audition for Australia series, Kohli or Rohit should play at no. 6

  • zico123 on November 21, 2011, 19:01 GMT

    4 men pace attack will be too one dimentional, if 3 quicks can't do the job, 4th won't either, also their over rate will be slow, means Captain will suffer match fee cut

  • on November 21, 2011, 19:56 GMT

    Maybe if West Indies adds Cuba to the Federation we could get some of those great Cuban baseball pitchers! And why is Sammy now considered a fast bowler?

  • cricketdebator on November 21, 2011, 20:22 GMT

    In addition to the Walch fornula, the best way to get a batsman is to restrict him from scoring, and bowling wicket to wicket on a good length is a proven method of doing so. Put the ball in the batsma's court and force him to take risk if he wants to score. When the ball is heading for the stumps and the batsman is good enough to score from it, then hats off to him. However, he will always be conscious of the consequences of missing the ball. With regards to Edwards, although at times he looks theatening, most of the time his bowling is easy pickings for the batmen. He needs to exert much more control in line and length, and restrict the batsmen from scoring as freely as they do from his bowling.

  • on November 21, 2011, 20:30 GMT

    ravi, fidel, roach and who, sammy your are NOT FAST SAMMY. BEST COMBINATION DOES NOT INCLUDE YOU. DAYS OF FOUR PRONG PACE HAVE LONG GONE. DEVELOP YOUR BEST BOWLERS WHICH INCLUDE SPINNERS, YES SPINNERS. WHATS WRONG HAVING TWO SPINNERS WHO ARE ATTACKING NOT TO JUST TIE UP AN END. BISHOO NARINE BENN ARE ALL ATTACKING. TEST CRICKET IS ABOUT GETTING 20 WICKETS, AND NOT TO HAVE 600 SCORED ON YOU.

  • on November 21, 2011, 20:32 GMT

    i sense india playin rahul sharma nd aaron tomm instead of ashwin nd ojha

  • on November 21, 2011, 21:41 GMT

    The use of the 3 pacers is the correct move. H/ever since we r not dropping Sammy, we will have to make some batting changes. Edwards is a good #3,& as such should be able to open. If Shiv is fit, Kraigg will sit out. Next option, Open with Baugh, he plays pace well. If we win the toss we will win or draw this test. Sammy may still have a role to play as a bowler, he gets wickets by unforced errors. And yes our bowlers need to be a little more patient. C U IN INDIA.