Windies pacer Kemar Roach will miss the opening Test against India as he has been forced to fly back to Barbados following the death of his grandmother. He will rejoin the squad midway through the first Test beginning here on Thursday.
“Kemar is not back yet. He had a bereavement in the family and will be joining the team midway through the first Test,” said Windies coach Stuart Law here on Tuesday.
“Kemar Roach is a very experienced fast bowler with great skill. He is one of our leaders. It is a big loss. Having said that, Shannon Gabriel has been outstanding in the last couple of Tests, that too in similar conditions to India.”
Roach has played 48 Tests, taking 163 wickets at 28.31. The Australian cricketer-turned-coach, however, expressed confidence in the abilities of the pace attack comprising Gabriel (37 Tests), captain Jason Holder (34), Keemo Paul (1) and the uncapped Sherman Lewis, who replaced the injured Alzzarri Joseph.
“Missing Kemar is a big hole but we have got some bright talents coming through in Keemo Paul and Sherman Lewis. Sometimes it is better going with the known to surprise the opposition. Pace has been our strength,” added Law.
Meanwhile, Law said that the visiting team is confident going into the series opener.
The last time Windies won a Test series against India was at home in 2002. The team has lost six straight series against India since then.
“We spent good eight days (in Dubai) before we came to India. It was 45 degrees during the day in Dubai so heat here won’t be an issue. Then we had a good couple of days in Baroda (only tour warm-up), the pitch was similar looking to what I see here today. Preparation has been good.”
“We have talked a lot but it is time now to stop talking. It is time the boys show what they have got on the field. Touring India has always been tough for teams, we have to show the world that we can play the game and grab hold of those opportunities,” said the 49-year-old cricketer-turned-coach.