LINCOLN, New Zealand, CMC – Assistant coach Roddy Estwick believes West Indies fast bowlers will have a critical role to play if the Caribbean side are to make an impact in the two-Test series against the Black Caps starting next month.
Coming off the recent Zimbabwe tour where spinners were vital because of the slow, turning tracks, Estwick said the conditions in New Zealand provided the opportunity for the Windies attack to show their quality.
“Obviously the spinners played a bigger role in Zimbabwe because the pitches were low and slow and the ball spun quite a bit,” Estwick said following Sunday’s second day of the three-day tour match against New Zealand A.
“Here in New Zealand the ball bounces a lot more and carries through a lot more to the keeper, so you expect your fast bowlers to really do the bulk of the bowling.
“It was a good that the fast bowlers got a run out [on Sunday]. You’re trying to cover all your bases depending on which pitch turns up in the first Test match.”
Frontline pacers Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach and captain Jason Holder all turned in solid shifts while Miguel Cummins and the uncapped Raymon Reifer also impressed, as the hosts were dismissed for 231 in their first innings at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval.
West Indies had declared at their overnight 451 for nine.
Estwick said it was important for the pace attack to use the outing to familiarise themselves with conditions, ahead of the Test series.
“They’re trying to get accustomed to the conditions, the different lines and different lengths you have to bowl,” he explained.
“The pitches are completely different to what we encountered in Zimbabwe so all in all it was a very good day.”
West Indies arrived here last week on a quest to win their first series on New Zealand soil in 22 years. They beat minnows Zimbabwe, 1-0, in a two-Test series in Bulawayo last month, to win their third Test in eight outings this year.
Estwick said the Windies’ performances had been improving steadily, and this had been in part owed to the outstanding work from the seamers.
“The fast bowlers have gone well for the last year. During that time you would realise we’ve won a Test match in every series so the fast bowlers have been doing a decent job,” he contended.
“What we have to try and do now is look to do even better in this series, so the fast bowlers are going to be very, very important. The thing about it is to get some miles in their legs, make sure they’re up and ready to go at New Zealand from ball one.”
The first Test gets underway at the Basin Reserve in Wellington on December 1.