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Fiery, Fast & Furious Pace Attack Of West Indies (70s to 90s)

That 70s to 90s had shown some of the most fast and furious West Indian bowlers altogether from Michael Holding, Joel Garner, Malcolm Marshall, Curtly Ambrose, Andy Roberts, Courtney Walsh, Phil Simmons and many more.

If we behold the history of cricket, we will discover that certain cricket teams reigned over others for specific period. From the late 70s to early 90s West Indies wrote a chapter of global dominance in the history of cricket. Even in the late 90s, after losing the charm the Windies had previously created, they performed decent enough. Now, let’s talk a little bit about hierarchy prevailing in the game of cricket.

Fiery Pace Attack:

In every field of job, we see favoritism towards a certain individual or a group. In cricket, too, batsmen usually enjoy special attention of fans. Most of the fans glorify the deeds of batsmen much more than that of bowlers. But the reality evinces the essence of bowlers. Not a single match could have been won without the deeds of bowlers.

Now, let’s get back to West Indies once again. So, we were talking about the dominance of the then West Indian team. It is very obvious that West Indies achieved such success with the help of world class batsmen. But West Indies is not solely remembered for those batters and all-rounders. There was a time when West Indian bowling attack was considered to be superior. West Indies attained the summit of success for the outstanding contributions of the bowlers. They were the rulers. They were the paragons.

West Indies is preliminarily remembered for their fast bowlers. During the 80s Michael HoldingAndy RobertsMalcolm MarshallJoel Garner were the first benchers when it came to the bowling line
up of the team.

A Look at Those Pace bowlers:

Michael Holding, 6’3.5” tall and dark bowler, was famously called “The Whispering Death”. Holding played 60 test matches, 102 ODI matches and took 249and 142 wickets respectively. Holding used to retain a quiet nature. But during the tour of New Zealand in 1979/1980 Holding lost his calm after a controversial decision of an umpire. As a result of frustration he kicked the stamp. Cricket will always remember the outstanding spell of Michael against Geoff Boycott in Bridgetown, 1981.

47 test matches and 202 wickets !!!!! West Indies were very lucky to get a player like Andy Roberts. Along with his mates Andy kept on terrifying the world with his deadly deliveries.

Joel Garner, Colin Croft were also important bowlers who left significant marks in the history of cricket. Joel Garner played, even, took 10 more wickets than
Holding playing 58 test matches.

Fast Bowling is an Art & the Artists are those Tired Labours

Malcom Marshall (376) and Curtly Ambrose (405) were also leading wicket takers whom opponents feared much. Till date Courtney Walsh with 519 wickets in his pocket, is the highest wicket taker of West Indies. Walsh is also the only West Indian bowler to enter into the elite club of 500 wicket takers.

Walsh and Ambrose made a brilliant pair of themselves. They both produced some moments in cricket that are worth remembering. Ambrose had a better bowling average and statistics compared to Walsh. But Walsh succeeded in taking more wickets than Ambrose. A cricket fan should recall the famous hot fight between
Ambrose and Steve Waugh. It is useless to pen down such incident. I will recommend you to watch in on YouTube. In 1993 Ambrose took 7 wickets for 1 runs in 32 balls against Australia.

The Tony Greig Incident that Charged the bowlers:

If you see the most economical spells, you will find Phil Simmons and Courtney Walsh in the list. Phil Simmons, in 1992 world cup, retained an economy rate of only 0.30 for 10 overs. He not only did so, but also took 4 wickets to defeat Pakistan badly. In a match against Sri Lanka in 1999 Walsh could restrict 0.50 RPO. Walsh and Ambrose together took 924 test wickets in 230 match.
As of now we have only seen the glorious part of the spellbinding bowling attack of W.I. But on delving deep into the history, we will find some dark facts too. In my previous blog ( Racism in Cricket ) I have talked about the infamous remark on Tony Greig on the eve of historic 1976 test series.

His unfortunate comment – “We will make them grovel” created huge spark among the West Indian players. Focused, they displayed their greatest art and mastery of cricket in that tour. Viv Richards with his phenomenal performance made his permanent place in the book of cricket. Alongside were the bowlers who, indeed, proved to be terrifying.
I think this picture of Brian Close sums up how appalling West Indian bowlers were. These events often put question mark before the safety of batsmen playing without helmet and strong guards. Strong appeal arose in favor of changing rules of the game and ensuring the safety of batsmen. So did happen.

Should We Eliminate Toss from Test Cricket

Today West Indies have lost the grace of those golden days when the game was fought between batsmen and bowlers genuinely. Now a days most of the rules back the batsmen. The team that once
lifted two consecutive world cups, struggle much in the game; a strange apathy of the players are vividly visible. We do hope that West Indies again become a world class team.
Let’s comment your favorite West Indies pacer of that mighty attack. We will try to talk about him specially in future.

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