cricket, SPORTS

Windies Getting Back To Basics – Fast Bowling!

The West Indies cricket team has a rich legacy of fast bowling and excellent fast bowling talent, especially during the early 1970’s to 1990’s which can be considered the golden era of West Indian cricket.

The region produced some of the best fast bowlers in the world, during this time and was a dominant force in world cricket to a large extent because of the quality of their bowling. The great bowling units of this era used sustained pace, aggression, bowling in the right areas, and importantly bowling with a sort of rhythm that inspired confidence among each other.

This rhythm played a significant role in the success of these bowling units and has been severely lacking in the West Indian bowling units since the late 1990’s.

However, in the home test series of 2018, firstly against Sri Lanka and currently against Bangladesh, the bowling unit seems to have a new-found rhythm and purpose led by Shannon Gabriel and the resurgent Kemar Roach which is already having a positive impact on test matches. We will highlight how this fast bowling rhythm has benefited the team so far in 2018 and also why it is essential for this to continue.

One of the ways that the fast bowling rhythm has benefited the team so far in 2018 is that either Gabriel with his extreme pace or Roach with his skiddy and accurate deliveries have taken early wickets, this allows the team to play more attacking cricket and impose themselves on the opposition.

This is precisely what was done against Sri Lanka who got pass 300 only once in the series and against Bangladesh, who were blown away for 43 and 144 in the just concluded test match. The ability to consistently pick up early wickets is the hallmark of a good bowling unit; this West Indian bowling unit has been able to do this so far in 2018 and needs to continue doing so in different conditions and against stronger opposition to be genuinely considered a good bowling unit.

Another spin-off of the new found rhythm in the West Indian bowling unit is that a bowler or two always puts their hands up and pick up some wickets. In the four test matches already played in the 2018 home series, either Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach, Jason Holder or to a lesser extent Miguel Cummins have all picked up wickets at times.

In the just concluded match against Bangladesh, Kemar Roach blew away the top order in the first innings, and then Miguel Cummings and Jason Holder finished up the tail, in the second innings Gabriel inflicted the same damage on the top order and was aptly supported by Holder and Cummings.

This shows that each bowler in the team is taking responsibility and that they are hunting as a unit to dismantle batting line-ups. Again, this is a sign of a good bowling unit and a recipe for success; we, however, wait to see if this good start to 2018 as a bowling unit will continue and become a consistent occurrence going forward.

In the final analysis, the West Indian bowling unit for the ongoing series against Bangladesh and the just concluded matches against Sri Lanka has performed at levels not seen in recent years. Each bowler is taking responsibility, and a concerted effort is being made to bowl the team into good positions.

We anticipate that this new-found rhythm that has been displayed by the fast bowlers will continue for the foreseeable future to keep the team competitive in test matches. We will be watching to see how they fare against tougher opposition.

Readers Bureau, Contributor

Edited by Jesus Chan

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