Best group since the great days: WI bowling coach hails pace battery

West Indies bowling coach Roddy Estwick believes the current crop of bowlers are as good as their fearsome attack of the 80s and 90s and they could spring a surprise in the upcoming Test series against England.

The three-match Test series, which begins July 8, will mark the resumption of cricket after the sport was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Estwick praised Windies’ strength in depth and stated the pacers can challenge any batting line-up in the world. West Indies have included fast-bowlers Jason Holder, Kemar Roach, Alzarri Joseph, Chemar Holder and Oshane Thomas in their squad for the series.

“Our bowling will be key to us and we’re beginning to get blessed again with fast bowlers in the Caribbean,” Estwick said at the West Indies Old Trafford training base as per Daily Mail.

“I think this is the best group since the great days. We’ve got a number of fast bowlers we think can challenge any team in the world and this is an exciting time.

“You respect what the greats have done but you have to forge your own identity. When I played in the 80s there were a lot of great fast bowlers — Wayne Daniel and Sylvester Clarke only played 10 or 11 Tests each but both took around 900 first-class wickets — and hopefully we have four or five now who can lift that standard again.”

West Indies had famously beaten England during the previous series between the two sides that was played in the Carribbean Islands. A draw in the series would be enough for them to retain the Wisden Trophy.

The first Test of the much-anticipated series will be played on July 8 at the Ageas Bowl, followed by two Tests at Old Trafford on July 16 and July 24.