FORMER West Indies fast bowler Tony Gray has praised the Windies fast bowlers for their hostility and consistency in recent matches, saying they have capitalised on the weakness of their opponents.
Gray, who played five Tests and 25 One Day Internationals in the 1980s and 1990s, said, “I think obviously the fast bowlers have done their job and they have bowled with hostility and aggression and that is exactly what we need, but they have also been consistent with the way they go about things,” Gray said.
Led by Shannon Gabriel and Kemar Roach, the Windies quicks tormented Bangladesh in the first Test match at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua. West Indies defeated Bangladesh inside three days by an innings and 219 runs.
Roach grabbed five wickets for eight runs to help dismiss Bangladesh for 43 in the first innings, one of the lowest totals in the history of Test cricket. After West Indies amassed 406 in reply, Gabriel took 5/77 as Bangladesh were dismissed for 144 in the second innings. Roach and Gabriel received ample assistance from fellow fast bowlers Jason Holder and Miguel Cummins as the quartet combined to take all 20 wickets in the match.
The Windies paceman have been utilising the fast wickets against Sri Lanka in the last series and now against Bangladesh in the current series. West Indies drew the three-match series 1-1 against Sri Lanka, and lead the two-match series against Bangladesh 1-0.
Gray said the Windies have benefited from the quick wickets against teams that prefer spin. “When you have assistance from the pitches, it helps a great deal, especially when you come up against the teams that don’t like fast bowling,” Gray said.
Gray said West Indies are not only bowling quicker but maintaining control. “We are making an aggressive statement, we are making a penetrative statement and it is much more than just technical incompetence by the opposing batsmen. I think it is because of the fact that we are bowling more consistently and we are sticking to a game plan,” Gray said.
Gray said Bangladesh, who are ranked one place higher than West Indies in the Test rankings in eighth position, should have showed a little more grit and determination.