Fast bowler Kemar Roach has issued a small warning to fellow pacer and compatriot Jofra Archer saying him not to expect any room for friendship when the Test series between England and West Indies begin next month in Southampton.
The series will begin on July 3 at the Ageas Bowl and Roach reckons that the team will solely focus on defending the title which they had lifted 18 months back at home with a 2-1 win.
"Jofra has made his decision and I think he's done a fantastic job so far in his career but obviously there's no friendships and stuff in this series," Roach said via video conference on Sunday. "It's all about winning and playing hard cricket so when we come up against Jofra I think we'll devise a fantastic plan to counter him. I'm looking forward to that battle and the rest of team, I'm sure, are doing the same.
"I saw him as a youngster in domestic cricket back home in Barbados. I always thought he was talented and he has shown that over the years. He came over here and he has done a fantastic job and I want to wish him all the best for his career."
When asked if Archer engages in some verbal exchanges with the visiting team, Roach replied saying, "We'll see when that comes round, we'll definitely see."
Roach will also be eying a personal record in the three-game contest. The veteran pacer stands just seven wickets away from 200 Test scalps and is most likely to achieve the milestone given his impressive record against England both away and at home. In the last series, his 5/17 in Bridgetown had helped West Indies fold the visitors for a paltry 77 in the first innings. He also has a fifer, 5 for 72, in England which he had managed at the Lord's in 2017, a series which the home team had won 2-1. Overall, he has 42 wickets against England and 19 of them were picked in England.
"Different conditions obviously to the Caribbean, the ball does a little bit more in England so we have to adjust our plans, obviously devise a great plan to go against the English batsmen but I don't think our mode of attack is going to change much," Roach said. "You saw it in the Caribbean and it's pretty fresh in our minds.
"It's always going to be tough to play in England but I think once you get stuck into them we stand a great chance of beating them. Our plan was always to make it tough for the England batsmen. I think we did that fantastically well. Once you can execute that again here, I don't see any reason why you can't cause trouble and get over the English batsmen."