West Indies fast-bowler Kemar Roach has fired an early-warning sign towards England’s Jofra Archer ahead of their much-anticipated Test series.
Roach said in a video media conference that his friendship with Archer, who originally hails from the Caribbean, will take a backseat during the series, emphasising that the West Indies are very determined to beat England.
‘Jofra has made his decision and I think he’s done a fantastic job so far in his career, but obviously there’s no friendships and stuff in this series. It’s all about winning and playing hard cricket, so when we come up against Jofra I think we’ll devise a fantastic plan to counter him. I’m looking forward to that battle and we as a team are doing the same,’ Roach said.
Jason Holder’s charges arrived in the UK in a ‘bio-bubble‘ last week to start their preparation for the first Test, which gets under way on 8 July at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton.
It will be the first time that Archer will face the West Indies in the Test format, having qualified to play for England prior to last year’s World Cup and Roach is expecting his team to front up to Archer’s quick deliveries, while maybe giving him some friendly stick when he is out in the middle with the bat.
‘We’ll see when that comes round, we’ll definitely see. I saw him as a youngster in domestic cricket back home in Barbados. I always thought he was talented and he has shown that over the years. He came over here and he has done a fantastic job and I want to wish him all the best for his career.’
The 31-year-old Roach, who is also the most experienced bowler in the West Indies camp, caused Joe Root’s men problems during last year’s Wisden Trophy in the Caribbean, steering his team to a famous 2-1 series win over England with a total of 18 wickets.
Roach is, however, looking forward to the challenge of bowling in English conditions.
‘I think we have to adjust our plans but I don’t think our mode of attack is going to change much. We saw what happened in the Caribbean and that’s pretty fresh in our minds. If we can get stuck into the batsmen we will have a great chance of defeating England,’ he added.