Sunday, April 14, 2024

Injury worries

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LONDON – Injury problems hover over the fast bowling pair of Kemar Roach and Ravi Rampaul, ahead of Thursday’s start of the first Test against England at Lord’s.
Roach did not bowl on the final day of the four-day tour match against England Lions on Sunday, while Rampaul was limited to just four overs, as West Indies slipped to a ten-wicket defeat at Wantage Road.
“Kemar Roach has twisted his left foot, and it was a precaution as much as anything that he didn’t bowl,” head coach Ottis Gibson said.
“Ravi Rampaul woke up with a stiff neck [Sunday morning].”
West Indies’ build-up to the opening match of the three-Test series has been patchy, with weather and poor form dogging their tour to date.
Adverse weather wrecked their opening three-day tour match against Sussex in Hove last week and their batsmen and bowlers struggled at stages during last weekend’s fixture against the Lions.
With both Roach and Rampaul key to the Windies attack especially in the English seamer-friendly conditions, Gibson said West Indies would carefully monitor both players.
“We have to be a little bit careful with Lord’s in mind,” Gibson said.
“It is a bit of a disappointment they (seamers) have not bowled much. But we are here to play Test matches and we hope it will be all right.
“We have just had a very tough series in the Caribbean, and they bowled a lot of balls there – especially Kemar Roach.”
He added: “In England, it is a matter of getting used to the conditions rather than bowling a lot of balls – and you can get used to the cold without bowling.”
The concern over Roach and Rampaul adds to those lingering over fellow pacer Fidel Edwards who sat out the Sussex fixture with injury and also had a limiting bowling role on the final day against the Lions.
In the build-up to the Test, West Indies captain Darren Sammy reminded England that the sides did not have to look back very far to the last time his side caused an upset. A young West Indies squad travelled to England to play two T20 internationals last September and, having lost the first game by ten wickets, hit back with a 25-run win to square the series. West Indies also won the last Test series between the sides in the Caribbean.
“We were a very inexperienced team in September,” Sammy said. “People said we were just on our way to Bangladesh, but we beat England.”
“Every team that comes here, the media try and bring them down for England. So we know what to expect. We have to handle the distractions –  be they the weather or the Press – and concentrate on doing our best on the pitch.
“People don’t expect much from us, but we know that once we play to our potential we can compete very hard against England. If we can put runs on the board, we back our bowlers to take 20 wickets against England.” (CMC/cricinfo)

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