North Sound (Antigua): Former West Indies pacer Ian Bishop has lamented the difference in quality between the two competing teams in the current four-Test series, stating that Indian players' experience puts them miles ahead of the Caribbean outfit.
He was also impressed with Virat Kohli's aggressive captaincy in the first Test that India won by an innings and 92 runs within four days.
"I like what I see from Virat Kohli. His captaincy is a reflection of his aggressive personality," said Bishop on the sidelines of the first Test.
"I prefer to see that in a captain than someone who is conservative or who sits back all the time. In time Virat will learn to give his bowlers a longer spell, or take them out quickly. He is growing in this job and I like what I have seen so far in his inventiveness and his use of the bowlers."
Talking about the quality of the India side, he said, "They are a good team and ranked no.2 in Tests for a reason.
They have been doing some good things for a while now and it includes building an all-round bowling attack.
"Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Mohammed Shami are quality bowlers, and then there is R Ashwin who has been bowling well for a couple years now. He is well supported by Amit Mishra and Ravindra Jadeja.
"I am happy to see Virat finally get a double hundred, and even considering that the opposition is an easy West Indies team, they are getting into good habits.
"India are aggressive under Virat and his captaincy is very aggressive, and they are doing what they need to do against the opposition they are playing against," the former fast bowler said.
Ashwin picked up the man of the match award for his third century against the West Indies, batting at no.6, and then picked up 7-83 in the second innings to cap an all-round performance.
The experiment is now set to continue as the series advances further.
"Every team in the world is looking for that guy who can bowl yet bat at that position. You think of Ben Stokes for England. Australia had a couple of guys for many years, and they have Mitchell Marsh who is doing that job for them now.
"The West Indies are looking for someone to bat at six and give them the sort of penetration with the ball as well.
But if you look at Ashwin's record against West Indies compared to his record against other teams, well, there is a disparity. So we have to take that into context. It is how he will go against the other higher ranked teams in the world is something to see. This has been a good move but now it has to kick on," said Bishop.
Talking about the disparity between the two sides, he said, "This is a no.2 versus no.8 battle, so let us be real about the two sides. There is an obvious difference in quality here. I mean, look at the experience of Virat, Ishant, Umesh and Ashwin.
"Jason Holder has to be more aggressive, like Virat, but the fact that his bowlers are inexperienced is perhaps leading him to be over-cautious.
"The inexperience just shows in the manner Darren Sammy leads the T20 side, they have so much experience, or even the ODI side which has a little more experienced. But this Test side is just so inexperienced."
Perhaps the biggest deficiency for the West Indies in the first Test was the fact that in an inexperienced eleven, their two most experienced batsmen, Darren Bravo and Marlon Samuels came up short.
They have 100-plus Tests between them, and yet yielded only a half-century in two innings.
"The expectation is that Marlon and Darren as two senior heads will score more runs. Darren just came out of Australia with a hundred and a half-century, so he can do the job. What we are crying out for is for him to do it more often.
"Marlon, well, I don t know what space he is in right now and there are a lot of rumours flying about his future. He played well in the second innings. So I would give them some breathing space and see what happens in the next Test or two, said the cricketer-turned-commentator.
And talking about the next Test in Jamaica, starting July 30, Bishop said he expected a green wicket at Sabina Park.
"From what I saw last week in Caribbean Premier League, when I was in Jamaica, was a well-grassed pitch offering good help for the fast bowlers and that s what I expect.
"I saw the pitch being prepared and there was good grass coverage, so that is my expectation.
"Whether it gives West Indies an advantage, only time will tell because India have all their bases covered. People talk about home advantages but I like to see good cricketing surfaces regardless of strengths.
"But seeing the first Test, West Indies do need a pitch that will bring their seam bowlers into play more and then their batsmen will have to fend for themselves," he signed off.
Published Date: Jul 26, 2016 08:29 pm | Updated Date: Jul 26, 2016 08:29 pm