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Ambrose, Walsh to open bowling


Haydn Gill
St. John's - The question appeared to be straightforward.
'Can you say whether the younger fast bowlers have made the suggestion that they should be opening the bowling?' Simon Croskill asked Jimmy Adams during one of the daily Press conferences during the third Test.
'In what way?' the captain shot back.
'Have they made a suggestion to you that it is their time now ' maybe they should be opening the bowling?' Croskill rephrased the question.
Typically thoughtful, Adams back-tracked before offering his answer.
'Over the years, we have had people like Courtney Walsh, Curtly Ambrose and Malcolm Marshall who have taken over from other great fast bowlers in taking the new ball.
'But it was a process. And we as a team definitely believe in the process and that things will happen but not necessarily overnight.
'We are looking for that continued improvement from all the fast bowlers, especially the younger ones, so that when the time comes they will be slotting in very easily.'
Adams' comments came amid the debate that either Reon King and Franklyn Rose, or even both, should have first use of the 'cherry' in light their continued emergence this season.
Ambrose, 36, and Walsh, 37, have performed outstandingly in the five Tests against Pakistan and Zimbabwe, but King, 24, and Rose 28, have also shown their worth.
Ambrose ended the season with 19 wickets (ave. 16.78) and Walsh, 23 scalps (ave. 18.52 ), while King collected 20 wickets (ave. 19.73) and Rose, who missed two matches because of injury, took 12 victims (ave. 21.66).
Rose was also Man-Of-The-Series against Zimbabwe, while King, the fastest of the four, was far and away the most impressive fast bowler on the preceding disastrous tour of New Zealand. There was another follow-up question for Adams.
'Are you saying that the time isn't right at this time [or the young fast bowlers] to use the new ball?'
'What I am saying is that Courtney and Curtly are doing an exceptional job with the new ball up to this point,' he responded.
'The team strategy is that we have decided to maintain that.'
The captain's claim can be backed up by statistical evidence.
In the first two Tests against Pakistan, the visitors lost their first five first innings wickets with less than 40 runs on the board and the first three for less than 50 in both innings of the third Test.
'We have seen in every game, in every innings so far, if not one, both of what you call the `old war horses' proving their worth with the new ball,' Adams said.
'We believe the time will be right for the younger fellas, but while the more senior guys are getting the job done we don't see any reason right now to change that formula.'
Enough said, Mr. Captain.