Ambrose full of praise for Roach
By STEPHON NICHOLAS Monday, April 23 2012
FORMER WEST Indies fast bowler Curtly Ambrose has given young pacer Kemar Roach a ringing endorsement following his ten-wicket haul in the recently concluded second Digicel Test against Australia at the Queen’s Park Oval, Port-of-Spain.
Roach’s effort was the first time since 1993, a regional bowler took that sum against the Aussies and he was subsequently named “Man-of-the-Match”.
Prior to Roach, the last man to do similar damage against the Aussies was none other than Ambrose who took ten wickets for 120 runs in a thrilling one-run win at Adelaide.
The ex-Leeward Islands player commended Roach on the feat and encouraged him to continue trying to match and better the accomplishments of his predecessors.
“I wouldn’t want to say he emulated my feat because that is what cricket is all about. You want to try and do better than the past cricketers so we can show the world we have an abundance of talent.
“I thought Kemar Roach bowled extremely well because to take ten wickets on a pitch like this which is unresponsive to fast bowling was a tremendous effort. He really bowled well except for his first spell on the first morning but since then he came back with decent bounce and I am happy for him. He worked hard and got his reward,” Ambrose pointed out.
Of Roach’s ten wickets, three came via three leg-before-wicket while four were bowled and Ambrose commended the 23-year-old for adapting to the conditions.
“If you know the Queen’s Park Oval pitch, it is always a situation where when you bowling consistently between wicket and wicket you will get wickets (then you do that).
“One or two (deliveries) will keep low and you get some leg-before or bowled down, that is the key to bowling here especially here on a pitch like this where there is no grass, no sideways movement, you have to bowl between wicket and wicket. That is what Kemar Roach did and he got the results,” Ambrose continued.
The Antiguan believes Roach is now bowling the best of his career after a slump in form last year and called on him to now begin performing consistently for the regional team.
“I never had any doubt that he can become a great fast bowler. He went Australia not so long ago and really came to the fore on that Australian trip and really caused the Australians all sorts of problems. He came back to the Caribbean and I believe that maybe he relaxed a little bit and figured he had a good Australian tour, people began talking about him and probably didn’t keep working hard at his game. He perhaps relaxed a little bit, lost form and was dropped from the team and that for me was a bit of a wake up call for him.
“He really realised that no matter how good you are you’re only as good as the last game. He came back, put in the hard work and is reaping the rewards at the moment,” he added. Ambrose also believes there is a bright future for the West Indies in the bowling department with an abundance of good pacers as well as spinners.
“I don’t think the fast bowling attack is a bad one. You’ve got guys like Kemar Roach and Fidel Edwards who when he is fit and bowling well can be a handful. Ravi Rampaul has been very consistent for the West Indies over the years until injury forced him out but he’s on his way back. You’ve got (Shannon) Gabriel who looks to be a very promising one for the future. There is one from Barbados - (Christopher) Jordan... he’s another good prospect and Jason Holder from the CCC (Combined Campuses and Colleges) so the cupboard isn’t as bare as people think.
“We’ve got a bunch of spinners as well. We’ve got (Sunil) Narine, (Devendra) Bishoo, (Narsingh) Deonarine, Shane Shillingford, Nikita Miller and Odean Brown. So when looking at both departments the cupboard isn’t as bare as people think,” he reiterated.