Roach warns Windies not to take Zimbabwe lightly
BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, CMC:
Seamer Kemar Roach has warned West Indies against complacency as they prepare for their two-Test series against Zimbabwe starting here in eight days.
West Indies are ranked number eight in the ICC Test rankings while Zimbabwe languish at number 10, and are without a Test win in four years.
The African nation have also never beaten West Indies in a Test, having lost six of eight previous meetings but Roach labelled them a dangerous side especially in home conditions.
"We must not get complacent. We're in Zimbabwe. Yes they're under us but I believe they're a very good team," he explained.
"They have some very good players, some good experienced players they've been playing for a while and they're in home conditions, so they know the conditions better than us.
"I think once we go out there with that same mentality we had in the second Test in England, I think we'll do a very good job."
In that second Test at Headingley last August, West Indies produced an astonishing performance to trounce the hosts by five wickets, after chasing down 322 on the final day.
Roach and new-ball partner Shannon Gabriel both starred in the match, grabbing four wickets apiece in the first innings to reduce England to a small first innings score, laying the foundation for victory.
And the 29-year-old backed the bowling unit to build on their development from the England tour and deliver against Zimbabwe.
"Our bowling is our strength, and I think once we keep working hard on that and getting better, I think with experience these guys will become better cricketers and better bowlers as well," he pointed out.
Roach was the pick of the bowlers on the England tour. Though lacking the pace of former years, he produced sideways movement to trouble batsmen and was good enough to pick up a five-wicket haul at historic Lord's as he finished with 11 scalps overall.
However, he was quick to point out that conditions in Zimbabwe were different and it would require adjustment and patience in order to be successful.
"It's tough conditions and it's my first time here, so I'm trying to adapt as fast as possible and obviously trying to win this series against Zimbabwe as well," he said.
"They (pitches) are pretty slow. Quite a big difference coming from England. Obviously, you're in a drier part of the world, so we've got to adapt and get our lines and lengths right."