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Thread: Andy Roberts' place in the pantheon of Caribbean Pace Men

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    International Debutant harsh.ag's Avatar
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    Andy Roberts' place in the pantheon of Caribbean Pace Men

    Whenever I saw India and England play the Windies in the 1970s and 80s, Andy Roberts was always incredibly lethal as the opening bowler, not to mention that he possessed the greatest variations of the four in his armory. His bouncers were magnificent, and I sure most you must be aware of his deadly 2-bouncer strategy. On top of that, his fast in-cutters were also a handful, to say the least. And he always seemed to be planning the next wicket, as a long-game con artist who builds up the pressure slowly. Nowadays in discussions of cricket, it seems I am sometimes one of the few who mention his name in the context of individual great fast bowlers. Sure, his name comes up like a charm when talking about the quartet, but apart from that, he seems less appreciated than the other three. His test record in terms of averages is less special than them, but is that the only reason? He was, after all, the fastest to get to a hundred wickets at one point. Where do you think his place is in the pantheon of the great Caribbean pacemen? Behind Marshall, Holding, Ambrose and Garner? Maybe ahead of one or two of them? Maybe behind even Hall and Walsh? Opinions?

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    International Coach flibbertyjibber's Avatar
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    He was before my time but when all the old players talk about him they all say how brilliant and brutal he was. Difficult to really list the great Windies pacers in an order as there were so many of them and you will always have people arguing against your own list.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    I always put Maco on top by the shortest of short heads but him apart I think Roberts is right up there with Garner, Holding, Ambrose, Walsh and Croft - his stats are slightly inferior but then he started that bit earlier and didn't enjoy the same support as the others got from generally being part of a four pronged attack

    ...... and he wasn't quite as good as Sylvers either, obviously

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    From the pool of Marshall, Ambrose, Walsh, Croft, Roberts, Garner, Holding, Clarke, Daniel, Hall et al, you don't suffer much of a drop in quality from first to last.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend smalishah84's Avatar
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    the old timers rate him very highly
    And smalishah's avatar is the most classy one by far Jan certainly echoes the sentiments of CW

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    International Captain watson's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure Ritchie Benaud rates Andy Roberts as the best of the West Indian fast bowlers.

    However, I think that an acceptable pecking order for the top 5 would be;

    1. Marshall
    2. Ambrose
    3. Holding
    4. Roberts
    5. Garner

    Not sure after that...
    Len Hutton - Jack Hobbs - Ted Dexter - David Gower - Walter Hammond - Frank Woolley - Ian Botham - Alan Knott - Hedley Verity - John Snow - Fred Trueman

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    Second behind F Lesley for me.

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    International Debutant Jager's Avatar
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    Ian Botham rates Roberts the best, too. I am interested to see how Croft rates, he is equal favourite with Roberts to me. Actually, make that a three way tie with Marshall.
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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend Top_Cat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jono View Post
    second behind f lesley for me.
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    International Captain bagapath's Avatar
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    very legit question this is.

    I would personally rank him fourth behind marshall, ambrose and holding; and slightly ahead of garner. apart from the first position that rightfully belongs to macko the other four could easily swap their positions. and the thread starter would hopefully admit that my ranking is not based on stats alone.

    i am sure my opinion is heavily colored by the fact that by the time i started watching cricket in the early 80s roberts was slowly making way to marshall to lead the pack with holding and garner hunting batsmen full swing. otherwise, in terms of quality, jeez, there is no way to split these guys. croft and walsh would have to stay one step below these five giants though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jono View Post
    Second behind F Lesley for me.
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    srsly though, the real question is what's his place in the pantheon of Cribbbean pacemen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by watson View Post
    I'm pretty sure Ritchie Benaud rates Andy Roberts as the best of the West Indian fast bowlers.

    However, I think that an acceptable pecking order for the top 5 would be;

    1. Marshall
    2. Ambrose
    3. Holding
    4. Roberts
    5. Garner

    Not sure after that...
    Pretty much where I'd place them with Walsh in at 6.

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    Cricket Web: All-Time Legend smalishah84's Avatar
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    Imran in his autobiography has a paragraph each for one of the WI greats.....on Roberts he writes

    "Another fast bowler who deserves to be called great is Holding's former partner, Andy Roberts. I first saw him when he came down to Oxford with the MCC. He was playing for Hampshire's second XI at the time. When our turn came to bat, we wondered what on earth was going on: Oxford had just beaten Northants in the B&H cup but we couldn't lay a bat on this fast bowler. Perhaps-- we thought -- we had celebrated our B&H win too well! But as the season wore on we started to notice the Hampshire second XI's matches in the small print of the newspapers: their opponents kept declaring at about 60-7 after Andy had put two or three players in the hospital....
    Contrary to popular opinion Roberts was a very intelligent bowler. He was a good reader of the game and probably the first WI fast bowler who thought hard about thinking out the batsmen. He passed on his knowledge to a later generation of WI quick bowlers, all of whom became excellent bowlers, using their brains as well as their brawn. Roberts had a big hand in the WI revival of the 1970s."

    Then there is a paragraph each on Garner, Croft, Sylvester Clarke, and a few for Macko.

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