Edwards plans some chin music for Indians
Kingston: West Indies fast bowler Fidel Edwards has no plans to be hospitable to the Indians and promises to bombard the susceptible-to-pace visiting batsmen with short-pitched deliveries in the first of a three-match Test series, starting on Monday.
"I have always called it (Sabina Park) a second home; a home away from home. Indians, over the years have had problems against short balls. They looked a lot better in the last series I watched but hopefully the promise is still there," said Edwards.
Edwards was plucked out of nowhere by the then West Indian captain Brian Lara during the 2003 home series against Sri Lanka and he obliged immediately with a five-wicket haul.
He had another five-wicket haul in his next Test and over the next 40-odd Tests was to take his tally to 122 victims before a back injury put him out of the team in the last two years.
The returning paceman from Barbados understands he can no longer be a spearhead with the likes of Kemar Roach and Ravi Rampaul now sharing the new ball.
"Roach and Rampaul are bowling well. It`s a plus and more simple for me that I am not the spearhead. I can now do my job; do what I have to do for the team. All are bowling in the 90s. Hopefully we can get it together," he said.
Edwards was encouraged by the sight of Sabina Park pitch which he termed bouncy.
"It looks like a good wicket. The first time I played here it had bounce and everything. Hopefully, it will play to my advantage."
The short and wiry paceman was disappointed that he wasn`t preferred by the selectors to take on the Indians in the preceding five-match one-day series.
"I was disappointed a bit for I had been waiting to play. But you got to move on. I am now pretty fit; done a lot of work in the past couple of months with my trainer," Edwards said.
"I am bowling far better, in more consistent areas and swinging a lot more than before. I am training a lot harder, gym a lot, more muscle, strengthening my back, my legs, my muscles, my weak areas a lot," he said.
"I have been ready for a while now; have waited for this moment. I now need to take it step by step. I have bowled long spells in February-March; I remember a really long spell against England Lions and have been injury free."
India`s two batting lynchpins, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, have 270 Tests between them but Edwards is looking to target each and every batsmen of the visiting line-up.
"They have seen me; seen my footage. In a way it`s harder for me as I haven`t seen them. But I would now see the footage and we go from there," he said.
Even though India is presently the number one Test side, Edwards believes England is equally good.
"England is playing as well. India is playing good cricket but there best players are not here for the series. Hopefully, it will get us off to a good start."
Edwards feels he is different from the great West Indian pacemen of yesteryears but he continues to be inspired by them.
"They were different. They were tall and wiry while we are opposite now and very short. They have been a joy to watch and I have spoken to Walsh and Ambrose and gathered a lot of info as well," he said.