Home > Features >

Kemar Roach — Throwback to West Indian pacers of old

Kemar-Roach-628
Kemar Roach © Getty Images

At a time when searing West Indian pace bowlers were a thing of the past, Kemar Roach’s emergence had brought back fond memories of the time when Caribbean speedsters used to make the batsmen dance. Roach has come a long way since his debut, and recently grabbed his 100th Test match wicket. Shiamak Unwalla has more.

Kemar Roach is not the average express fast bowler. He does not loom over batsmen. At merely 5 ft 8 inches, he couldn’t even if he wanted to. He does not stare deeply into the soul of the batsman on his follow-through. He is much too mild-mannered for that. A couple of offences in 2009-10 including a run-in with Jacques Kallis seem mere aberrations.

However, what Roach does possess, is speed — Pure, unadulterated and terrifying. He is quick enough to have caused Ricky Ponting severe discomfort. In the six Tests that they played against each other, Roach has dismissed Ponting five times. In fact, between Jerome Taylor and Roach, Ponting has found life very difficult against the West Indies — just three fifties in 13 games featuring either one of the two speaks volumes of the former Australian great’s uneasiness against the pair.

The best example of Roach’s pace was seen in the first One-Day International (ODI) between West Indies and Zimbabwe in their bilateral series in 2009/10. Vusi Sibanda, batting on 95, was bowled by a Roach yorker. This in itself was not special, but how the dismissal occurred made it unique. Sibanda jammed his bat down. The ball then proceeded to go on its way, splitting the batsman’s bat into two before knocking the stumps. Sibanda was stunned, Roach was ecstatic, and the cricketing world was treated to a true “bat-crushing” yorker, the likes of which is rarely seen.

Another instance of Roach’s pace being far too hot for the batsmen to handle came in the ICC World Cup 2011 against the Netherlands in Delhi, where he took four wickets in six balls, including a hat-trick, to rout the Netherlands en route to figures of 6 for 27.

Roach has a very impressive record in his short career so far. In 61 ODIs, he has taken 94 wickets at an enviable average of under 27 and a strike rate of less than 33. An economy of merely 4.92 runs per over is the cherry on the cake. His Test record is equally impressive. He already has 100 scalps in his 26th game (he has taken eight wickets so far in the ongoing match between West Indies and New Zealand), with an average of around 28 and strike rate of close to 53.

Roach is celebrating his 26th birthday today. In the ongoing Test match against New Zealand,Roach has four wickets in each innings, and will be looking to add to his tally as well as restrict the opposition to as low a total as is possible. If he manages to do so, and if Chris Gayle unleashes his brand of cricket on the Kiwis, there could well be an interesting final day’s play on the cards.

(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 27, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Basseterre, St Kitts

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 29, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

India tour of England 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (15:00 IST)   at Nottingham

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 30, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Dambulla

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 31, 2014 (13:00 IST)   at Harare

More

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Harare

South Africa won by 7 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Aug 27, 2014  at Cardiff

India won by 133 runs

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 26, 2014  at Hambantota

Sri Lanka won by 77 runs

Zimbabwe Triangular Series, 2014

Aug 25, 2014  at Harare

Australia won by 198 runs

Bangladesh Tour of West Indies, 2014

Aug 25, 2014  at Basseterre, St Kitts

West Indies won by 91 runs

Photos

Don Bradman's ducks

Videos

Mitchell Marsh: This is a big opportunity for me

India vs England Live Cricket Score 2nd ODI at Cardiff: India win by 113 runs by D/L method

Australia vs South Africa Live Cricket Score, Zimbabwe Tri Series 2014 Match 2 at Harare: South Africa win by 7 wickets

Don Bradman and his ducks

India vs England ODI series 2014: Why an Indian win will be surprising

MS Dhoni taking on England in England and BCCI at home!

Australia Australia and South Africa in Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Pakistan Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Pakistan vs Sri Lanka South Africa Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs Pakistan Zimbabwe Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014

Live Cricket Score: West Indies vs Bangladesh, only T20I at Basseterre

Live Scorecard: West Indies vs Bangladesh, only T20I at Basseterre

Live Streaming: West Indies vs Bangladesh, only T20I at Basseterre

Ranjan Madugalle completes 500 international matches as match referee

India romp to massive 133-run win by D/L method against England in 2nd ODI to lead series 1-0

West Indies vs Bangladesh, only T20I at Basseterre Preview: Hosts will look to maintain clean slate

10 little known facts about Lasith Malinga

AB de Villiers’ ton for South Africa against Australia in Zimbabwe Triangular series 2014 another testament to his place as a modern great

Zimbabwe Triangular Series 2014: Australia vs South Africa, 2nd ODI at Harare Highlights

Ashes 1893: Dr. WG Grace treats Charlie Turner on the field

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

664 Posts | 6 Fans

Funny cricket video

HP recalls 6 million laptop power cords citing “fire and burn hazard”

Live Streaming: West Indies vs Bangladesh, only T20I

Hyperlapse iOS app review: Simple, hassle-free time-lapse video creator unlocks loads of creative possibilities

West Indies vs Bangladesh Live Cricket Score, only T20I at Basseterre: Bangladesh elect to bat first

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Leaked: Inside pictures of Salman Khan’s Bigg Boss 8 house?

Malala Yousafzai Speaks About Her Fight for Education

How to have sex after having a baby

Lots of Baggage in India-US Relations According to Dr. Ashok Kapur

NGOs pursue education for all

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here