With three Tests in quick succession, it’s likely both England and West Indies will have to rotate their fast bowlers across the current series. Indeed, Kemar Roach bowled over 40 overs across the five days in Southampton, as did Jason Holder; Shannon Gabriel and Alzarri Joseph both bowled over 30.
For the hosts, their likely replacements are mostly successful and regular performers at international level – think the likes of Stuart Broad, Chris Woakes and Sam Curran. Those that have little to no experience on the international stage – Craig Overton, Saqib Mahmood, Olly Stone and Ollie Robinson – are at the very least well known to most who keep an eye on the domestic county game in England.
But West Indies possesses a fine arsenal of pace bowlers, too. Here we give the lowdown on the quicks in their squad and reserve list.
Twenty-two-year-old Chemar Holder (no relation to Jason) is very much in the mould of Joel Garner or Curtly Ambrose – tall and very quick. On the international stage, Holder greatly impressed against India in the final of the 2016 ICC U-19 World Cup, returning economical figures of 1-20 from 10 overs. His recent domestic record makes for favourable reading too. During the 2019/20 West Indies Championship (the equivalent of the County Championship), he was the competition’s second-highest wicket-taker for the eventual champions Barbados, averaging less than 20 runs per dismissal.
The Barbadian-born Guyana all-rounder is not blessed with pace but that is no barrier to success in England: speaking after his left-arm fast-medium picked up five wickets in West Indies’ first intrasquad match, Reifer said: “You can always give yourself a chance with the Dukes ball in England.
“If you’re able to get a bit of shine on it there is always some movement to be found in these conditions. If the ball is seaming around then it is favourable for me.”
The son of former West Indies Test skipper Floyd Reifer, he made his one and only Test appearance so far against New Zealand in 2017, taking two wickets in the match and last played international cricket in an ODI against Bangladesh last May.
Young at 23, Harding is still making his way on the first-class scene and played alongside Kemar Roach, Jason Holder and Chemar Holder while helping Barbados to the West Indies Championship title last year. Harding’s performances during the two intra-squad warm-up games were unremarkable, however; he only took one wicket across the two matches.
The standout of the West Indian reserves. Having already played 20 ODIs and 12 T20Is – he has five-wicket hauls in both formats – the imposing Jamaican quick has yet to feature at Test level and has only eight first-class appearances to his name. Interestingly, Thomas’ best ODI figures of 5-21 came against England last year and included the dismissal of Jos Buttler, currently under pressure at Test level.
A left-arm seamer, McSween enjoyed a breakout campaign in the 2019/20 West Indies Championship. Having not featured in first-class cricket since his debut in 2017, McSween took 31 wickets at an average of 22.77 earlier this year, returning three five-wicket hauls in the process.
Another solid performer at domestic level – Mindley averages 25.29 in first-class cricket from 35 matches – the right-arm quick enjoyed some success in the first intrasquad match, taking 3-27.
A snappy right-arm quick, Phillip has turned out in the Caribbean Premier League for Trinbago Knight Riders but his numbers from his 14-match first-class career have been more impressive: he averages 21.50 and in his most recent appearance in March, took career-best figures of 10-72 against Winward Islands.