© Getty Images
Sheldon Cottrell has had a successful outing in the warm-up game © Getty Images

Centurion: Dec 17, 2014

West Indies bowling consultant Curtly Ambrose has cautioned against writing off the Caribbean unit, who begin a three-match Test series against South Africa in Centurion on Wednesday. The former Windies pacer says he is happy with the level of preparation and is backing the lowly-ranked Caribbean side to do well against their top-rated opponents, reports CMC.

Eighth-ranked West Indies have had a poor record against their No.1-ranked host — losing 10 of the 12 Tests in South Africa, managing just a win and a draw. “I feel very confident the way we are at the moment. I believe that we will do well, contrary to what others might believe,” said Ambrose on Tuesday.

“We all know South Africa are the No.1 team in the world but we are prepared and ready to do battle.” West Indies are optimistic about their bowling line-up in which rookie pacer Sheldon Cottrell is being tipped to be a surprise element against the Proteas. Cottrell, who has been explosive in recent performances in the Caribbean and in the warm-up fixture, is part of a fast bowling arsenal that includes Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel and Jason Holder.

“Sheldon bowled very well in the warm-up game. Having travelled from the Caribbean and playing two days later, I thought it was a brilliant effort,” said the former Windies pacer who played 98 Tests. “He’s looking good, but we going rely on all the bowlers to bowl South Africa out twice. We are a team and we are going to play together as a team.”

Ambrose, is urging his pacers not to get carried away with the prospects of South African pitches known for favouring fast bowlers. “I’ve played in places where they are known to be bowler friendly and the main thing is to keep focused and put the ball in the right areas,” said Ambrose. “No one bowler can win a match; it takes a team effort. We’re certainly not going to bowl anything for them to drive”.