West Indies v Australia, 3rd Test, Roseau, 1st day April 23, 2012

An attack for England?

If West Indies can find enough runs in England in May, for the first time in some years they have an attack that may be capable of defending them
45

A turning pitch under the tropical sun of Dominica, an idyll at the eastern extremities of the Caribbean, is about as far away from the cold of an English spring as it is possible to get. There may be a little rain about, but that and a paucity of major exports are about the only parallels that may be drawn between this island and the United Kingdom.

Nonetheless, West Indies demonstrated on the first day of the third Test against Australia that they are developing the kinds of bowling resources to do well in the field on English pitches, the hosts' next assignment following soon after the conclusion of this home series. Darren Sammy's team may be far more comfortable in the shirtsleeves afforded by their region, but in strangling Australia's batsmen at Windsor Park they showed the kind of diligence and variety that will serve them well on the chillier side of the Atlantic.

Shane Shillingford took the majority of the plaudits, gaining the sort of bounce that was scarcely on offer in Trinidad but could be extracted in Dominica, from a surface that bore some resemblance to that of Adelaide Oval. David Warner, Michael Clarke, Ricky Ponting and Michael Hussey were all victims of vertical movement as much as lateral, Warner unable to control a cut shot from a ball that reared somewhat, the rest pushing firm-handed at deliveries that jumped. Following a stop-start beginning to his Test career and a spell out of the game to minimise the arm-straightening kink in his bowling action, Shillingford has proven himself a persevering and intelligent spin bowler, keeping things tight whenever he isn't also taking wickets. He is unlikely to play a central role in England, but his rhythm and spin seem equally unlikely to let Sammy down in any dramatic way.

Just as important at Windsor Park were the efforts of the faster bowlers, who worked together to clear a path into the middle order that Shillingford was able to exploit. They are likely to be rather more central to proceedings at Lord's, Trent Bridge and Edgbaston, and even on a surface not given to much seam or swing, were able to demonstrate a neatly balanced array of skills. Speed, swing, seam and economy - all were on display from the moment Kemar Roach took the new ball at 10am local time.

Roach's development as a fast bowler with plenty of skill, speed and confidence has been a source of some excitement both in the Caribbean and abroad. From the moment he discomforted Ricky Ponting in Australia in 2009, Roach has appeared to be a bowler of tremendous promise, and in the return series he has come closer than ever to fulfilling it. Speedier than the rest, while also skidding the ball from his medium height, Roach is a keen student of Malcolm Marshall, as he showed by publicly acknowledging what would have been the late fast man's 54th birthday in Port-of-Spain. He can move the ball in either direction with the new ball or the old, and is allying his skills to an increasingly calculated attitude. Michael Holding is one who believes Roach will be a success in the UK, and he was never less than fast and accurate here.

At the other end, Ravi Rampaul returned to Test cricket after watching the first two Tests from under the drinks umbrella and made the kind of immediate impact his full-bodied seam and swing had, prior to a bout of dengue fever, become increasingly famed for. Sending the ball down at brisk pace, Rampaul maintains an immaculate seam position, maximising his chances of early deviation through the air or off the pitch. While Australia's opener Ed Cowan has not the record nor the poise of Alastair Cook or Andrew Strauss, the delivery Rampaul swung back to claim his wicket was the sort that will challenge the technical resources of both England men. Rampaul will also benefit from the greater share of grass often found on English wickets early in the season, and his fitness and conditioning will only improve with a few more spells at Windsor Park.

The first change to the attack was, as usual, Sammy's introduction. His position as a bowler remains the most contentious in the Caribbean, for he is not overly quick, nor a particularly pronounced seamer or swinger of the ball. But the one thing Sammy does have, in addition to the warmth and unity he has brought with his captaincy, is shrewdness. Taking many of the lessons passed onto him by Corey Collymore, another West Indian bowler who succeeded at little more than medium pace, Sammy gives nothing in the way of loose deliveries, varies his angles on the bowling crease with rare intelligence, and stands up the seam in the hope of a little wobble or cut from the off or the leg. He has winkled out several batsmen in this series with only his wits for protection, and at Windsor Park it was Shane Watson who was becalmed by a tight line then suckered out with a bouncer. It is possible to picture Sammy using the Lord's slope with the precision of any number of old-time English seamers.

This quartet will be aided and abetted by Fidel Edwards, a non-starter in this Test but slingy, slippery and brave, while being ring-led from the boundary by Ottis Gibson, who it cannot be forgotten guided England's fast men beyond base camp towards the heights they have since reached under the ECB's current pace bowling coach David Saker. Gibson is as useful a resource for Sammy and company as any piece of video footage or statistical analysis, for he also has years of experience bowling in England to aid him. Australia's bowlers thought they were well drilled following a romp through India in four home Tests across the summer, but in the Caribbean it is arguable that it is the hosts who have accomplished their plans in the more comprehensive manner, despite the series scoreline.

Of course, West Indies' batting is an area of greater concern for Gibson and Sammy, having been shorn of Chris Gayle and perhaps in need of another recall for the county-employed Brendan Nash. A Duke ball in the hands of Jimmy Anderson, Stuart Broad, Chris Tremlett and Tim Bresnan has confounded far better players than Kraigg Brathwaite, Adrian Barath and Kirk Edwards. And their fielding will not be permitted to spurn the chances that went down amid the bowlers' persistence. But if the Caribbean team can find a way of cobbling a few runs in the chill air of England in May, for the first time in some years they have an attack that may be capable of defending them. They had best be wearing plenty of jumpers, though.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Meety on April 25, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    Don't really care who wins the WI v Eng Test series, I am just hoping the WIndies will continue to show their improvements. I'll be going for the underdog, but above all else what a series minus dramas involving UDRS & a competitive tussle. I would like the WIndies to be able to send the best XI they can. I hate playing the WIndies when the IPL is on, it just detracts from the tour. Atm the WIndies biggest weakness is in the top 3. If Edwards is fit, 1/3 of the problem is solved, if Gayle is WILLING, the WI have 2/3s of the problem solved. On paper a side that reads 1. Gayle, 2. Barath, 3. Edwards, 4. Bravo, 5. Chanderpaul, 6. DJ Bravo, 7. Ramdin, 8. Sammy, 9. Rampaul, 10. Roach, 11. Shillingford/Bishoo, should do okay.

  • Aman_blues on April 24, 2012, 19:23 GMT

    west indies shud brng gayle n sarwan bak if dey wnt 2 win by any chance

  • Trickstar on April 24, 2012, 15:53 GMT

    So because WI at home have caused a few problems for the Ozzies comedy batting line up means they will do well in England , that's quite a stretch. From the looks of it the WI don't know how to dismiss tailenders, every match this series has been the same, they haven't looked like getting 8,9,10 & 11 out quickly. The problem for WI is that there batting is rubbish and that's at home in England as we have seen before it reaches comedy levels, they won't have clue against England seamers and even less of a clue against Swann.

  • HumungousFungus on April 24, 2012, 15:47 GMT

    I'm not sure that it will really make a difference who the West Indies have in their top order, runs will be at a premium against this excellent England bowling attack. Since the Summer of 2009, England have played at least one Test series against everyone except Zimbabwe, and the average first innings score conceded is 288. The figures improve for home Tests (276), and, as one would expect, slightly worsen for away Tests (303). Ultimately, for WI to have a chance in this series, they will need to be bowling England out consistently under 200, and I can't see that happening. Same for SA, whose excellent bowling has to be weighed against a top order that is strong on paper, but also alarmingly prone to collapse (I can think of recent skittlings by all of Australia, India, and Sri Lanka, none of whose attacks, with all due respect, are close to England in quality). Ultimately, if SA can consistently score over 300, they will win the series. Might not be as easy as it sounds, though...

  • Nutcutlet on April 24, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    I do hope that the weather improves for thie arrival of the WIndies! Like several others here, I think that their pace bowlers will challenge England's top order - and the spinners look useful too. Their batting - Chanderpaul apart - is likely to be very vulnerable to the seaming and swinging ball. Sammy seems to be an improving captain and his side appears to be happy. That is no small achievement with a WIndies side. I wish them a tour of genuine progress. The cricketing world is always a better place for a WIndies team that is competitive & united. (Will Sarwan be considered? They'll certainly need him!)

  • 6pack on April 24, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    The West Indies performance; how they've surprised almost everyone with the way they've played so far, is not dissimilar to how Sri Lanka did in South Africa last year. Though, SL lost 2 of the tests, they weren't given a chance in he$$ of winning any and yet they di win one. West Indies have done better, by threatening to win both games thus far and looking good again. I'm very very impressed with how Sammy goes about things as captain... Yes, without Gayle, Sarwan, Nash et al, their batting may struggle in England... but let's not write them off just yet. As we've seen here, they have plenty of potential with the groups they've got.

  • SDHM on April 24, 2012, 14:10 GMT

    Also, with the struggles the Windies have had dismissing the tail, what are they going to do when it comes to getting rid of Bresnan, Broad and Swann?

  • TeamSelector on April 24, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    I'm afraid the Windies won't stand a chance unless they bring back the experienced Gayle, Sarwan & maybe Nash. Their current top three will be walking wickets for Jimmy & co. Their top six should be:- 1-Gayle, 2-Kirk, 3-Bravo, 4-Sarwan, 5-Shiv, 6-Nash/Samuels/Deonarine. That #6 slot will be a dicey one & cause the selectors quite a headache ...

  • rsgarcia on April 24, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    You know, before this tour started, no one outside of the Windies could see WI winning a game. Precious few Windies fans in the Caribbean thought different. I think the English fans on here would do well to not make the mistake the Aussies made of underestimating us. Our better players should be done with the IPL by the time we get there, and more importantly, we are a team that will not give up. If you look at each match as it was played on this tour, Australia dominated in only one match--the first T20. The lost matches were all let slip by Windies, not won by Australia. I have less worries about the batting and more about letting strong positions slip. This morning's play in Dominica will be key in that regard. If we don't get rid of that tail and bat for a couple days, we will have wasted those 7 wickets. It's time we learn to capitalize on good starts and make them into excellent endings. If we do that, then you can trot out Dukes and Jimmy's all you want, it won't matter.

  • 5wombats on April 24, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    The way things are here at the moment - the West Indies games will end up getting called off due to snow.... Remember folks - we have the Olympics here this year; The Winter Olympics..... so you West Indies boys - you can all do a remake of Cool Runnings :-)

  • Meety on April 25, 2012, 12:21 GMT

    Don't really care who wins the WI v Eng Test series, I am just hoping the WIndies will continue to show their improvements. I'll be going for the underdog, but above all else what a series minus dramas involving UDRS & a competitive tussle. I would like the WIndies to be able to send the best XI they can. I hate playing the WIndies when the IPL is on, it just detracts from the tour. Atm the WIndies biggest weakness is in the top 3. If Edwards is fit, 1/3 of the problem is solved, if Gayle is WILLING, the WI have 2/3s of the problem solved. On paper a side that reads 1. Gayle, 2. Barath, 3. Edwards, 4. Bravo, 5. Chanderpaul, 6. DJ Bravo, 7. Ramdin, 8. Sammy, 9. Rampaul, 10. Roach, 11. Shillingford/Bishoo, should do okay.

  • Aman_blues on April 24, 2012, 19:23 GMT

    west indies shud brng gayle n sarwan bak if dey wnt 2 win by any chance

  • Trickstar on April 24, 2012, 15:53 GMT

    So because WI at home have caused a few problems for the Ozzies comedy batting line up means they will do well in England , that's quite a stretch. From the looks of it the WI don't know how to dismiss tailenders, every match this series has been the same, they haven't looked like getting 8,9,10 & 11 out quickly. The problem for WI is that there batting is rubbish and that's at home in England as we have seen before it reaches comedy levels, they won't have clue against England seamers and even less of a clue against Swann.

  • HumungousFungus on April 24, 2012, 15:47 GMT

    I'm not sure that it will really make a difference who the West Indies have in their top order, runs will be at a premium against this excellent England bowling attack. Since the Summer of 2009, England have played at least one Test series against everyone except Zimbabwe, and the average first innings score conceded is 288. The figures improve for home Tests (276), and, as one would expect, slightly worsen for away Tests (303). Ultimately, for WI to have a chance in this series, they will need to be bowling England out consistently under 200, and I can't see that happening. Same for SA, whose excellent bowling has to be weighed against a top order that is strong on paper, but also alarmingly prone to collapse (I can think of recent skittlings by all of Australia, India, and Sri Lanka, none of whose attacks, with all due respect, are close to England in quality). Ultimately, if SA can consistently score over 300, they will win the series. Might not be as easy as it sounds, though...

  • Nutcutlet on April 24, 2012, 15:27 GMT

    I do hope that the weather improves for thie arrival of the WIndies! Like several others here, I think that their pace bowlers will challenge England's top order - and the spinners look useful too. Their batting - Chanderpaul apart - is likely to be very vulnerable to the seaming and swinging ball. Sammy seems to be an improving captain and his side appears to be happy. That is no small achievement with a WIndies side. I wish them a tour of genuine progress. The cricketing world is always a better place for a WIndies team that is competitive & united. (Will Sarwan be considered? They'll certainly need him!)

  • 6pack on April 24, 2012, 14:35 GMT

    The West Indies performance; how they've surprised almost everyone with the way they've played so far, is not dissimilar to how Sri Lanka did in South Africa last year. Though, SL lost 2 of the tests, they weren't given a chance in he$$ of winning any and yet they di win one. West Indies have done better, by threatening to win both games thus far and looking good again. I'm very very impressed with how Sammy goes about things as captain... Yes, without Gayle, Sarwan, Nash et al, their batting may struggle in England... but let's not write them off just yet. As we've seen here, they have plenty of potential with the groups they've got.

  • SDHM on April 24, 2012, 14:10 GMT

    Also, with the struggles the Windies have had dismissing the tail, what are they going to do when it comes to getting rid of Bresnan, Broad and Swann?

  • TeamSelector on April 24, 2012, 13:26 GMT

    I'm afraid the Windies won't stand a chance unless they bring back the experienced Gayle, Sarwan & maybe Nash. Their current top three will be walking wickets for Jimmy & co. Their top six should be:- 1-Gayle, 2-Kirk, 3-Bravo, 4-Sarwan, 5-Shiv, 6-Nash/Samuels/Deonarine. That #6 slot will be a dicey one & cause the selectors quite a headache ...

  • rsgarcia on April 24, 2012, 13:24 GMT

    You know, before this tour started, no one outside of the Windies could see WI winning a game. Precious few Windies fans in the Caribbean thought different. I think the English fans on here would do well to not make the mistake the Aussies made of underestimating us. Our better players should be done with the IPL by the time we get there, and more importantly, we are a team that will not give up. If you look at each match as it was played on this tour, Australia dominated in only one match--the first T20. The lost matches were all let slip by Windies, not won by Australia. I have less worries about the batting and more about letting strong positions slip. This morning's play in Dominica will be key in that regard. If we don't get rid of that tail and bat for a couple days, we will have wasted those 7 wickets. It's time we learn to capitalize on good starts and make them into excellent endings. If we do that, then you can trot out Dukes and Jimmy's all you want, it won't matter.

  • 5wombats on April 24, 2012, 13:14 GMT

    The way things are here at the moment - the West Indies games will end up getting called off due to snow.... Remember folks - we have the Olympics here this year; The Winter Olympics..... so you West Indies boys - you can all do a remake of Cool Runnings :-)

  • on April 24, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    This is the first time in ages that with futur tours programme,a tour of the UK will include up to at least 4 first class games besides the 3 test matches and ODI and T-20 series that follow.Therefore,this presents a perfect opportunity for the selectors to blood alot of younger players for the future,some may say i am talking madness,but already we will be without or so called better batsmen who will be playing in the IPL,and a couple of them without retainer contracts and playing county crciket ,some of these who failed miserably as a batting unit in the past,so could best of well stick with this nucleus of younger players and develop them.Take1 or 2 younger middle order batsmen they think will be valuable in the future,pick these 4 bowlers playing in this test as well as Fidel if fit,if notbring in Best,or blood Shannon Gabriel on this tour,his bowling can improve for sure,if Ramdin is fit,please take another keeper,Fudadin,DW Smith,etc or whoever as extras in the middle order.

  • VivGilchrist on April 24, 2012, 12:51 GMT

    @mrhamilton, So your still waiting for him to come good then?

  • on April 24, 2012, 12:49 GMT

    I have full confidence in this West Indies attack,NO WAY you can leave out Fidel Edwards if he is fit for England,he did well in those conditions before.Now this tour clashes with the great IPL,therefore,some of our so called prized batsmen will be securing their financial futures as they do there as well as with every other T-20 competition they play in yearly so most of them will not be in the touring party.The top order does not inspire confidence,lets hope a fit Kirk Edwards and Chanderpaul can fire for us,not sure if Darren Bravo will go as he has an IPL contract,i dont see them recalling Brendan Nash or Sarwan as they are contracted to their counties,and i cannot blame them after being ignored and dumped by the selectors.Maybe L Simmons maybe considered as an opener,but whatever combination the batting takes,most likly them will crumble,but lets hope they play out of their skins and show some kind of surprising fight in ALIEN conditions for alot of them.

  • SDHM on April 24, 2012, 12:37 GMT

    MiddlePeg - we do it deliberately :P We know the rest of the world plays cricket in glorious sunshine, so we tell the weather to misbehave! I genuinely can't see the Windies winning in England (but I have been horribly wrong before!), but they should at least be more competitive than they have been on recent tours. Having said that, despite all this talk of an attack with the potential to trouble England, I'd say the even after the winter they've had and with Strauss struggling for hundreds I'd take the English top 4 over the current Australian one any day, especially over here in England. Even in what could be good bowling conditions, Cook and Trott are more likely to be able to stick around and build an innings than Watson and Cowan, for example. Roach, Rampaul and Sammy should be a handful however!

  • Percy_Fender on April 24, 2012, 11:58 GMT

    Cricket was meant to be played by all Commonwealth countries. That meant that the teams had to play home and away in each of the member countries. The best performing teams would obviously be the champion team. It is amusing that people from Australia and to a lesser extent from England think that cricket prowess is acceptable only if played in these two countries.A measure of this lop sided thinking is best highlighted by the fact that out of the 52 Tests played by Don Bradman, 33 were played in Australia and the rest in England.There was a time when competing against Australia and England was the benchmark of cricketing excellence. But that is not so because other teams playing the game have risen. West Indies showed the world that nothing succeeds in sport as athleticism. Though they slumped they are once again on the up.Australia should see what is happening to them in the West Indies who are playing without their best as we know. Cricket has evened out now.

  • on April 24, 2012, 11:01 GMT

    Most ardent WI fans will agree with the above article. Besides Shiv our current crop of batters will punish in English conditions. However what I like is the idea of recruiting a batter who is familiar with English condition. S/one who is presently playing county cricket & doing well. There r quite few WI playing county cricket, not the familiar faces, uncapped players. None of the 1st 3 batters in this test match will be successful in Eng conditions. But we can take them for the experience. Powell may have some exp. but he is not ready. WI will press ENG hard in that series.

  • mrhamilton on April 24, 2012, 10:07 GMT

    @vivgilchrist and Vista12. I disagree i dont think it is time tobe chopping and changing Fidel Edwards based on his overall average of 38, best to let him have a chance in England based on his recent efforts. I think the windies upsurgence will continue in england and that bowling england will be less a problem than acumalating runs. Gayle simply has to play and sammy should be at 6. But i dont want the return of sarwan,dwayne bravo,samuels, etc these guys had their chance always played 4 themselves first not team. Until chanders retires no sarwan .

  • Tigg on April 24, 2012, 9:53 GMT

    The bowling attack looks handy. Rampaul, Roach and Sammy would, for me, be their best pace combination (Fidel still bowls a touch short). Their batting however, will probably crumble (Chanderpaul aside) to the English seam attack.

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on April 24, 2012, 8:57 GMT

    And enough with this chris gayle , he is exactly what Windies needs at the top but the guy himself said he would love to see test cricket dies out and has a an ego bigger than some of the sixes he hit in IPL , if he really wanted to play for WI he would have solved the problems by now , clearly he is not interested in putting in 5 days of hard work when 20 overs of slam bang can give him more money and instant popularity , this guy could obviously learn a few lessons in commitment from true greats like ponting and dravid

  • mukesh_LOVE.cricket on April 24, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    Ofcourse WI have a very good attack in the making , but the real problem is apart from chanderpaul, i dont think anyone will be able to stand up to anderson , broad , tremlett/finn in English condition , and only real weakness in England's batting line up is strauss , all others are capable of batting long and making big hundreds

  • Gupta.Ankur on April 24, 2012, 8:42 GMT

    The fact is like Rajasthan Royals in the IPL, WI under Sammy seem to be making most of what they have.

    As long as you do that and work hard, there's no problem in losing.

  • Rooboy on April 24, 2012, 8:25 GMT

    @Vista12 - 'not one of the Windies players would make the South African team' - maybe not, but I'm sure there's plenty more South Africans being considered for the 'English' team!

  • VivGilchrist on April 24, 2012, 7:53 GMT

    Fidel Edwards should not go to England. He has played a lot of cricket and we are still waiting for him to come good. A Test average of 38 is just not good enough for a guy that has taken 150+ wickets. Rampaul is suited to English conditions and Sammy will be useful. Roach is in form, and two more bowlers that can swing it should be picked.

  • vdm1 on April 24, 2012, 7:40 GMT

    Would be great to see a WI win v Aus and then to win a game or two v the commonwealth XI

  • MiddlePeg on April 24, 2012, 7:10 GMT

    West Indies don't stand a chance in England. Forget who has the better bowlers or batsmen. The climate over here in the UK at the moment is horrendous. It's about 6 degrees and very wet. It would be very hard for any human being to come to England from the gorgeous climate of Dominica and perform at their best. What are the ICC rules concerning bowling with gloves on?...

  • Marcio on April 24, 2012, 7:05 GMT

    Things are definitely looking up for the WI. However I might point out that they are currently losing to AUS, not winning, and in tailor-made conditions at home (anyone would think it was the other way around, judging by comments on these boards). The pitches being served up in the Carribean are so vastly different from what they'll face in ENG that it is basically impossible to draw too many conclusions from the current series. On the bright side WI fast bowlers should enjoy conditions, but the spinners will not be a force at all, I predict. WI batsmen wil also enjoy playing in a series where pitches have been tailored for 200 average totals and are so slow the ball speed is almost negative..

  • Vista12 on April 24, 2012, 6:50 GMT

    Ive got bad news for all those romantics out there - Windies will lose 3-0 in England regardless of who they pick. England are close to unbeatable at home (I hate to say it) and the only team who can compete with then in England at the moment is South Africa. And not one of the Windies players would make the South African team at the moment - maybe Chanderpaul but even then I would rather have De Villiers. Windies will be lucky to score 300 once over the series. Sorry, but the truth hurts.

  • Percy_Fender on April 24, 2012, 4:24 GMT

    Adjusting to English conditions will be very difficult as the Indians found out last summer. But I think the West Indies pace attack will make it evens. Cook and Strauss are not Hobbs and Sutcliffe and could be in the same kind of trouble against West Indies that Malcolm Marshall usually had them in in the past. England will do well to also remember the exploits of Chanderpaul in England. Besides Sarwan is already playing there and he could be selected. England will do well not to be too complacent because of their recent No 1 status. Deep down I know that Strauss and co will be aware how tenuous this rating really is. I look forward to a great series even before the expected humdigger in July.

  • PACERONE on April 24, 2012, 3:18 GMT

    I am more worried about our catching against England.Our bowling will create chances.The England batsmen are not as good as their stats show.Strauss is on a downward path.If W.I picks the right team England will be in for a shock.Sarwan is playing in England and depending on his form could be picked.W.I batsmen have to play shots and not get into an all defensive mode.Put pressure on the English bowlers and they will be okay..Maybe Gayle will be there to provide some of that pressure.

  • pvwadekar on April 24, 2012, 3:04 GMT

    Didn't really like Darren Sammy and thought that he was a passenger but he has got harmony and unity in the team and Windies are competing again and that's good for test cricket. They have a good pace attack [Darren Sammy, Kemar Roach, Fidel Edwards Ravi Rampaul]and spin attack [Shane Shillingford and Bishoo], need to pick up another reserve fast bowler, Unfortunately, their batting is another story, openers are a mess.. sorry guys Gayle is not going to change anything .. 3,4,5 are Kirk Edwards, Darren Bravo and Chandrapaul, hope that Marlon Samuels/ Lendl Simmons can bat at 6. Their part time off spin/medium pace bowling can be useful. Carlton Baugh and Ramdin are also good as keepers.. hopefully we can get a good competitive series

  • Meety on April 24, 2012, 1:52 GMT

    @Kenbene - Sarwan scored a ton the other day & is/was the temporary captain of his captain county side.

  • citizenkc on April 24, 2012, 1:38 GMT

    This team has real potential. Theoretically, it could read thus: Gayle, Barath, Sarwan, Bravo, Chanderpaul, Bravo/Sammy, Baugh, Shillingford, Roach, Edwards, Rampaul. I am really torn about Sammy. He seems to be a good leader, but I don't know if there is a place for him on this team. A pace attack led by these three and perhaps Taylor, if he is uninjured, can be a real handful. Meanwhile you have Narine and Bishoo in the reserves. WI are looking good but they need runs to defend. Good luck to them. Hoping to see them at Lords!

  • elsmallo on April 24, 2012, 0:18 GMT

    @Kenbene - one Ramnaresh Sarwan is currently captaining and scoring hundreds for Leicestershire - it's not a far cry to suggest that he could be recalled at some point in the series if the current order struggles.

  • yorkshirematt on April 23, 2012, 23:48 GMT

    Well it's cold and wet here at the moment and it's forecast to stay the same for at least another month so the windies will need to deal with that before they even think about how they're going to play. These seam bowlers are decent but not enough to trouble England and as the previous poster says their batting will definitely struggle against Anderson, Broad and Finn in their favourite conditions.

  • pealivi on April 23, 2012, 23:46 GMT

    Apart from Brendan Nash, does anyone know top Windies players playig in first class leagues in the UK? Conditions in England could be tricky for the younger players who have not played in England before. Hence, I suggest selectors take a long and hard look at some of the batsmen who are now playing over there, who would have acclimatised to conditions. A strong all round show in this test would be a confidence booster for the team. Kudos to Gibson and the rest of the coaching staff for a good job despite formidable odds. Kudos to Sammy too, for hanging-in-there in the face of fierce criticism. I wish WI only the best.

  • landl47 on April 23, 2012, 23:40 GMT

    The Windies look better than for a few years, though adjusting to English conditions after the Caribbean is going to be tough. England had better not be looking past them to South Africa.

  • SnowSnake on April 23, 2012, 23:36 GMT

    WI seems to be really good team. If Gayle comes back in the team then it has a potential to be one of the best.

  • Nerk on April 23, 2012, 23:25 GMT

    Those two little pals of mine, Shillingford and Narine. Unfortunately for the Windies they don't have three Ws to back up their bowling ability. But they have a couple of batsmen that make the bowler work for their wicket, and if they can stave off the new swinging Duke, they might be able to get enough runs on the board.

  • Meety on April 23, 2012, 23:20 GMT

    The WIndies I would expect - should give a good account for themselves, but I dunno if they'll win a test. That being said, if Roach continues is development, he has the ability to rip through a batting order on a helpful pitch. As Brettig alluded to, it's the batting where the problems lie. A left field side, wonder if Sammy could open the batting? ATM - the openers don't look up to it, if Sammy can wink out 20 or 30 runs at the top, it opens up scope for a 5-man bowling attack. == == == "...There may be a little rain about, but that and a paucity of major exports are about the only parallels that may be drawn between this island and the United Kingdom." - love it!

  • RandyOZ on April 23, 2012, 23:12 GMT

    The attack really isn't that good. Just wait until Lyon Starc and harris run through their attack before we jump to any conclusions.

  • on April 23, 2012, 22:43 GMT

    The last two sentences are the key. Remember how disinterested a shivery WI looked in May 2007? While England are always moaning about the heat in UAE/Sri Lanka/whereever, the flip side is just as crucial. Can't catch with your hands in your pockets, boys!

  • Al11 on April 23, 2012, 22:34 GMT

    The WI will always be unbalance in the bowling and batting department with Sammy in the team....at no time can they play a spinner, Edwards, Rampaul, Roach and Sammy....He , Sammy does nothing well...mediocre captain,bowler, batman and fielder

  • rama_krish on April 23, 2012, 22:12 GMT

    WI young batting stocks are still years away from sensible maturity. Hopefully good bowlers will be around at that time for them to profit handsomely. Until then. don't hold your breath.

  • on April 23, 2012, 22:07 GMT

    Wildly optimistic at best. Hard to see their batting lineup reaching more than 150 an innings against Jimmy in the form of his life in early season English conditions..

  • on April 23, 2012, 21:47 GMT

    Batting will be the windies bugbear

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  • on April 23, 2012, 21:47 GMT

    Batting will be the windies bugbear

  • on April 23, 2012, 22:07 GMT

    Wildly optimistic at best. Hard to see their batting lineup reaching more than 150 an innings against Jimmy in the form of his life in early season English conditions..

  • rama_krish on April 23, 2012, 22:12 GMT

    WI young batting stocks are still years away from sensible maturity. Hopefully good bowlers will be around at that time for them to profit handsomely. Until then. don't hold your breath.

  • Al11 on April 23, 2012, 22:34 GMT

    The WI will always be unbalance in the bowling and batting department with Sammy in the team....at no time can they play a spinner, Edwards, Rampaul, Roach and Sammy....He , Sammy does nothing well...mediocre captain,bowler, batman and fielder

  • on April 23, 2012, 22:43 GMT

    The last two sentences are the key. Remember how disinterested a shivery WI looked in May 2007? While England are always moaning about the heat in UAE/Sri Lanka/whereever, the flip side is just as crucial. Can't catch with your hands in your pockets, boys!

  • RandyOZ on April 23, 2012, 23:12 GMT

    The attack really isn't that good. Just wait until Lyon Starc and harris run through their attack before we jump to any conclusions.

  • Meety on April 23, 2012, 23:20 GMT

    The WIndies I would expect - should give a good account for themselves, but I dunno if they'll win a test. That being said, if Roach continues is development, he has the ability to rip through a batting order on a helpful pitch. As Brettig alluded to, it's the batting where the problems lie. A left field side, wonder if Sammy could open the batting? ATM - the openers don't look up to it, if Sammy can wink out 20 or 30 runs at the top, it opens up scope for a 5-man bowling attack. == == == "...There may be a little rain about, but that and a paucity of major exports are about the only parallels that may be drawn between this island and the United Kingdom." - love it!

  • Nerk on April 23, 2012, 23:25 GMT

    Those two little pals of mine, Shillingford and Narine. Unfortunately for the Windies they don't have three Ws to back up their bowling ability. But they have a couple of batsmen that make the bowler work for their wicket, and if they can stave off the new swinging Duke, they might be able to get enough runs on the board.

  • SnowSnake on April 23, 2012, 23:36 GMT

    WI seems to be really good team. If Gayle comes back in the team then it has a potential to be one of the best.

  • landl47 on April 23, 2012, 23:40 GMT

    The Windies look better than for a few years, though adjusting to English conditions after the Caribbean is going to be tough. England had better not be looking past them to South Africa.