Darren Gough: Exciting brand brings back fond memories of West Indies

WATCHING the events of the first day of the opening Test against the West Indies in Barbados this week I felt a bit like Dr Who when he goes back in his Tardis to view events from a past time.

West Indies' Kemar Roach shows the ball after taking five wicket during day two of the first cricket Test match against England at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

I thought I had gone back to 1979-80 and was watching a prolonged four-pronged West Indies pace attack. It was brilliant to see as a fast bowler and that is what I want to see.

It has been a while since the West Indies have had four decent quicks like they do now in Alzarri Joseph, Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach and Jason Holder.

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They also have Oshane Thomas who is in the background. They have some good cricketers and it is great to see.

I grew up watching the West Indies play cricket in their pomp with the likes of Michael Holding and Malcolm Marshall running full of passion in front of great local support in the ground.

I then played against the Windies in the Nineties and I still remember every minute of it and I absolutely loved it.

Their current bowlers were a reminder of those great days, although there was hardly a local person in the ground this week. It is mainly all English supporters.

Among those supporters was Steve Bruce, who was in the crowd at the Kensington Oval as he concludes his break from football before taking over as Sheffield Wednesday manager at the start of next month.

West Indies' captain Jason Holder, center, celebrates with teammate Kemar Roach, right, the dismissal of England's Ben Foakes during day two of the first cricket Test match at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

Cricket West Indies and the players say that they now want to play a traditional West Indian brand of cricket, which is great. Whether they lose some wickets, so be it.

They want to play this brand where they are exciting with the bat and ball. You could see that with the way Shimron Hetmyer batted and the four pacemen in the first innings.

With the big support of all the England fans the money will be coming into the Caribbean, so what the West Indies must continue to do for me is to continue to play an exciting brand of cricket and smash it with the bat and bowl really fast.

Doing that will hopefully bring the locals back to watch the West Indies going forward, which has been missing for a long time because of how poor they have been around the world.

West Indies' John Campbell plays a shot from the bowling of England's Ben Stokes during day two of the first cricket Test match at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

It was a privilege and pleasure to be there commentating for talkSPORT and watching four fast-bowlers on top of their game.

West Indies deserve lots of credit. Most wrote them off and few expected them to perform as they did on the first few days.

England had won eight of their previous nine Test matches. I am not saying England are a great side, but they have previously found a way to win.

They had no player in the ICC Test team of the year, but you look at their previous results, including beating India, who are a fantastic side.

England's captain Joe Root fields a shot from his own bowling during day one of the first cricket Test match against West Indies at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados. (AP Photo/Ricardo Mazalan)

India are the No 1 Test team in the world and got thrashed, really. Then England went over to Sri Lanka and sealed a 3-0 whitewash for the first time ever.

England had found a way to win without anyone being a standout figure, except possibly Jimmy Anderson, and it is a good trait to have.

You look at events in Barbados on the second day and the batting was just embarrassing. To be knocked over for 77 against a West Indies side still trying to establish themselves was so disappointing.

You wonder what Anderson felt as he was excellent with the ball prior to England’s first innings. Ben Stokes too.

You have to say regarding selections that England have not got it wrong too often in the recent past few months.

But as me and Steve Harmison both said this week, you had to play Stuart Broad on a pitch like that. It was one that always looked like it would have slightly uneven bounce and would carry for the taller bowlers.

For me they had to find a way to leave someone out to get Broad in the starting 11 on that pitch and they did not do it.

Look at the way that the West Indies bowled in our first innings, it was unbelievable.

Everybody knows that Stuart Broad should not have been playing golf – he should have been opening the bowling with Jimmy. Simple as that.

People say, well ‘the West Indies are not what they used to be and are rubbish’. Well, they most definitely are not.

The Windies have some talented players. We all thought it would maybe be a 3-0 tour and nobody thought the hosts had any real chance. But I think it is great for the series.