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West Indies head coach Phil simmons said the rise of India’s pace attack is ‘exciting’ for world cricket.
India’s pace trio of Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav have been the talk of the town recently, having picked up 19 wickets in the second Test match against Bangladesh in Kolkata, with one batsman retired hurt. Simmons said the performance of India’s attack, even with Jasprit Bumrah out with injury, was exciting.
“I can’t say how long ago, but when I first came here, you would have Madan Lal opening the bowling. Now you have guys bowling at 90 miles per hour opening and your premier fast bowler (Jasprit Bumrah) was injured for this Test, so you still have him to come back. It’s exciting for world cricket,” Simmons told ESPNcricinfo.
Ahead of their Test against Afghanistan in Lucknow, Simmons said India’s attack shows a team has to have good pacers and spinners to succeed in India.
“Teams know now that you have to play properly on both sides — you have to have proper fast bowlers and proper spinners to beat India. Fast bowling from anybody is exciting, so it’s great to see that happen. Hopefully we can get back our battery of young fast bowlers to the level where we’re competing and giving people trouble,” he said.
Simmons backed Virat Kohli’s opinion of promoting Test cricket, saying it was ‘awesome’ to see the Eden Gardens full for the day-night Test recently.
“I did watch the first day. It was exciting to see Eden Gardens full. It’s an awesome sight,” Simmons said.
“I think Virat hit the nail on the head when he said we have to promote Test cricket as hard as we promote T20. Even though T20 has more money involved, we have to promote it the same way. I think if that’s done, we can see a resurgence of big crowds in Test cricket anywhere you go in the world,” he said.
The first and only Test between Afghanistan and West Indies begins on Wednesday in Lucknow.
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