Thursday, December 1, 2022

CWI: Roach chasing the ultimate dream, win in England

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Kemar Roach says it is critical that West Indies bowl with the same intensity they had last year when they steamrolled England in the Caribbean. The experienced fast bowler says he is excitedly looking ahead to the starts of the three-match series, on Wednesday at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.

“I’ve seen that England have basically changed their batting lineup. It’s all about assessing each batsman, finding their weaknesses and obviously exploiting them,” Roach told CWI’s online media conference. “Of course I would’ve loved to have the same batting lineup because that’s what we’ve gotten accustomed to over the last few series we’ve had. But they’re a few changes here so it’s about sticking to your game plan, assessing each batsman and seeing how well we can come up against them. “Obviously a Test match without Joe Root – the fantastic stats he has – is going to be a bit of an advantage for us. He’s the one that keeps the England batting together and he’s done fantastically for them for the last couple years.”

He added:

“So without him it is a bit of an advantage for us but also a bit of a disadvantage because they are some new guys coming in that we have to work out and obviously see what their weaknesses are and try and to exploit them. “It goes 50-50 but once we get stuck in and we hit our straps and obviously put the ball in the right areas, we stand a very good chance of going out there and performing well.”

Roach was at the forefront with a five-wicket haul in the opening Test at Bridgetown last year when England were bundled out for 77 in their first innings – the lowest ever Test total at Kensington Oval and their fourth lowest overall against West Indies.

The performance set the tone for the series as England fell for 246 in the second innings to tumble to a heavy innings defeat, and then failed to muster 200 in either innings of the second Test at St John’s to go down by 10 wickets.

Roach finished the series with 18 wickets at a shade under 14 runs apiece and said he was confident he could once again put England’s batsmen under pressure.

“I’m confident. I’ve been working hard following on from that series [in the Caribbean] so my body’s in good shape,” said the 32-year-old who has taken 193 wickets from 56 Tests. “I’ve been working hard with my coaches doing a lot of bowling [and] a lot of drills so [with the first Test] coming up on Wednesday, I’m ready and raring to go and full of confidence.” “We had a pretty long camp in Manchester. We got a chance to get on the field and get some match practice as well … but I think I’ve bowled a fair amount of overs to get myself ready for this Test series so I am feeling much ready.”

The West Indies last tour of England was in late summer of 2017 and Roach picked up 11 wickets including a five-wicket haul at Lord’s to have his name enshrined on the honours board at the Home of Cricket.

“I think we’re more experienced now; a lot of guys have played all over the world a couple times so we’re pretty familiar with conditions … so it’s about focussing on what we need to do right now. We need to go out there, stick to our game plans, remain focussed and obviously bowl the way we know how to bowl.”

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