‘When Gavaskar went down on his knees, you knew you were in trouble,’ says Roberts

Friday, October 22, 2010

ANTIGUA - Anderson Montgomery Everton Roberts was not a name to be trifled with in his playing heyday. He was once the most feared and hostile of West Indian pace bowlers, and bowled to several international batting greats.

A walk down memory lane, and he says Australia’s Ian Chappell and India’s Sunil Gavaskar stood out among the luminaries.

Roberts says: “I always admired Ian Chappell. His brother Greg was more of a stylist, but I admired Ian much more. And [Sunil] Gavaskar. Once you saw him go down on his knees to hit a cover drive, you knew you were in for trouble.”

Of fast bowlers, he said bowling has slowed down because coaches are fearful of injury.

“I don’t know why because we never got injured. But man is not made to bowl fast. That’s why I’ve had two knee replacements,” Roberts said.

There were several great West Indian pace quartets, but for Roberts the definitive four comprised himself, Michael Holding, Colin Croft and Joel Garner. “Joel provided height and bounce, Colin provided angle, Michael smoothness, and I was power and cleverness.”

Of quick bowlers from other countries, or eras, he picks out Dennis Lillee and Jeff Thomson as the most impressive he competed against, but also Bob Willis of England. (ANI)

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