Sport

Roach credits Gibson for improvement

BY SANJAY MYERS Observer staff reporter

Tuesday, August 07, 2012    

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AT long last, the West Indies won a Test series at home.

The return of Christopher Gayle made a huge difference in the 2-0 win over New Zealand. The left-handed batsman was the top West Indies run-scorer, aggregating 230 runs at an average of 76.66.

The inclusion of the much-talked about spinner Sunil Narine and the continued good form of Marlon Samuels were also crucial.

Narine constantly troubled the laden-footed Black Caps batsmen and took 12 wickets at an average of 25.66.

Samuels showed his class with respective knocks of 123 and 52 in the second Test on a testing Sabina Park pitch and was predictably handed the Player-of-the-Match award.

But it was Barbadian pacer Kemar Roach who inflicted the most damage throughout the series while generally bowling a tidy line and length, despite concerns that he was not at full throttle.

The 24-year-old, who scalped 12 victims at 18.25 runs per wicket and scored a Test best 41 to propel the West Indies' successful chase in the second match, hails his compatriot Ottis Gibson for guiding his development.

"Things have been working out well. Ottis Gibson as the head coach and also mainly as a bowling coach has put in a lot of work with me. He's given me some confidence speeches and I'm glad to have him around.

"I tried to bowl much straighter to keep the (New Zealand) batsmen playing as much as possible because you don't want to give the batsmen too many 'sighters' (harmless deliveries)," he said during Sunday's post-match interview.

Roach had a strong debut series against Bangladesh in the Caribbean in 2009, but lost his place in the starting team due to a drop in form last year.

Now leading the list of global wicket-takers with a total of 39 in this calendar year, Roach shared that his consistency has made a significant difference.

"I've been mostly the main man... but being out last year opened my eyes to realise that I have to produce more work and keep performing.

"I've been getting more wickets now and being more consistent with my line and length. My performances have improved and I am going to keep working and go forward from here. I'm maturing slowly but surely and I understand my bowling a little better," he said.

Roach has taken 82 wickets in 21 Tests at an average of 27.69.

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