Cricket: Derek Pringle's four to follow this winter

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The Independent Online
Mervyn Dillon

(Trinidad and Tobago)

There is little doubt that the near impregnability of West Indies cricket in the 1980s was built on lethal and accurate fast bowling. According to many, though, a dearth now threatens, or it would do had bowlers like Franklyn Rose and not happened along. But while both have pace, it is the 23-year old Dillon who really looks like one out of the old mould.

As you would expect from someone measuring 6ft 6in tall, he extracts plenty of bounce with his seamers and cutters. He is aggressive, too, and while others faltered on the bare pitch in Karachi, where West Indies lost their third Test in a row, Dillon took 5 for 111.

England, too, received a taster in Sharjah, where he bounced out Adam Hollioake and Nick Knight. Given a freer reign in the Tests, we may once again hear the traditional thud of Caribbean "chin music". England's batsmen have been warned.

Sherwin Campbell

(Barbados)

Having missed out learning from batting at the other end to the master Desmond Haynes, Campbell has set about emulating him. Once a carefree strokeplayer, the 27-year-old opener is now content simply to anchor the innings and bat all day. According to his home crowd at the Kensington Oval, wild donkeys are easier to remove once he is set at the crease.

It is just as well, without his long gritty innings - he faced 690 balls in the three-match series as compared to the next highest of 280 by the wicketkeeper David Williams - West Indies would have lost even more heavily in Pakistan.

He does have weaknesses and a propensity to keep his weight on the back foot make him vulnerable to the swinging ball early on. He is also a compulsive hooker, which although providing a genuine line of enquiry for bowlers, can also prove expensive on the Caribbean's tiny grounds.

Dean Headley

(Kent)

Announced himself during the summer against Australia with a flurry of wickets at Old Trafford, where he showed a natural aptitude for dismissing left-handers; a useful knack as the West Indies may use as many as four in the top six.

A skiddy bowler, Headley may well take the new ball, although not in Jamaica, where he is already apprehensive over the reception that will greet him as he returns to the island that spawned his famous grandfather, George, as well as his father, Ron. England cannot afford nervous starters in what will undeniably be the most important Test of the series.

Nearly 28, Headley has much catching up to do if he is to have a fulfilling Test career. A fine fielder, a wandering mind and a fragile body are all that hold him back. As long as he stays fit and keeps his no-ball count to a minimum, any cheap jibes from the Sabina Park crowd will soon be forgotten.

Adam Hollioake (Surrey)

Passed over as one-day captain after leading England to victory in Sharjah, will only have made Adam Hollioake doubly determined to carve a role for himself at Test level.

A batsman with more bottle than finesse - not a bad way round for things to be when facing the West Indies - it may be Hollioake's bowling that helps clinch him the highly contested No 6 spot.

Unless England's bowling is given variety by making Alec Stewart keep wicket (not in plan A apparently), Hollioake's medium-pace mix of swing, cutters and slower balls may prove the perfect foil with which to tempt and taunt the West Indian strokeplayers into injudicious risk- taking.

A natural optimist, he wants to be England's answer to Steve Waugh. If he performs half as well, his team will at last have an all-rounder worthy of a long-term place.

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