Ambrose not confident Windies will compete against England
LONDON, England (CMC):
Legendary former seamer Sir Curtly Ambrose held out little hope for embattled West Indies in the three-Test series against England starting today.
Ambrose, who until last year served as the Caribbean side's bowling coach, said West Indies were coming up against a very confident England side and would struggle to even win a Test.
"I am very, very concerned," the giant Antiguan told the Tuffers and Vaughan Cricket Show ahead of today's start of the day/night first Test at Edgbaston.
"England are the favourites, they have just beaten South Africa 3-1, and South Africa are a better team than the West Indies at the moment. [England's] confidence is sky high.
"The West Indies, on the other hand, will have to play exceptionally well, first of all to compete, let alone win a game."
He added: "Speaking from the heart as a West Indian, I'm hoping they can at least win a match or compete. But as a realist, I'm not so sure they are going to compete against England."
NO TEST SERIES VICTORY
History is also against West Indies, having not won in a Test in England in 17 years and a series in almost three decades. In fact, the Caribbean side are without a Test series victory since beating minnows Bangladesh three years ago in the Caribbean.
Further, the touring squad is a young one, with just three players - Kemar Roach, Kieran Powell and Shannon Gabriel - playing a Test in England before.
Stars like Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels - with 223 Tests between them - have all been sidelined for the series owing to various reasons, but Sir Curtly said the experienced players were required if the Windies results were to improve.
"Look at the Twenty20 squad. We have those players available and they have always been a force," Ambrose said.
"According to the Cricket West Indies board, you have to be available to play all the first-class games in the region to be eligible for the Test team.
"I don't have a problem with that, but Cricket West Indies need to be more lenient with their players if they want their best team.
"So many players are starting their careers so have no-one to turn to who is a senior pro."
Ambrose snatched 405 wickets in his 98-Test career at an outstanding average of nearly 21, including a whopping 88 in 20 Tests in England at below his career average.