Ball coming at 90mph is more than enough: Curtly Ambrose on fast bowlers sledging batsmen

Aggression can’t be taught to bowlers as it’s a trait they ought to be born with, says West Indies legend Curtly Ambrose, who tormented batsmen in his glorious career.

Ambrose said though he was naturally aggressive, it was fellow legendary Antiguan bowler Andy Roberts, who encouraged him to embrace it while bowling.

“One of the things he mentioned to me was to always be aggressive, to always get under the skin of batsmen. That stuck in my mind coming from a great man like him,” Ambrose said on a podcast, hosted by Michael Atherton, for Sky Sports.

“I don’t think you can teach a bowler to be aggressive – it has to be something within you. You can try but if a bowler doesn’t have it inside of him, it probably won’t work. For me it worked because I am naturally aggressive while I am competing. It naturally flowed for me.”

If you keep sledging, you probably aren’t any good: Curtly Ambrose

Ambrose, who took 405 wickets in 98 Tests at an outstanding average of 20.99, said if one can make the ball talk, there is hardly any need to sledge the batsmen.

“…if you are good enough at what you do, you let the five and a half ounces (the cricket ball) do the talking for you.

“If you keep sledging, you probably aren’t any good. That wasn’t the West Indian way. Five and half ounces coming at you at 90mph is more than enough!”

Ambrose also remembered the days when he joined the West Indies, which was full of greats in the late 1980s.

Ambrose insisted that though he was new, he never liked to be called second best and that he always wanted to be the best.

“When I first made the West Indies team alongside the late, great Malcolm Marshall, as well as Courtney Walsh and Patrick Patterson, I never wanted to be second. I am a proud person and wanted to be the best I can be,” said Ambrose.

“I quickly realised for most opposition teams they were probably thinking ‘Curtly is a rookie, so just see off Marshall, Walsh and Patterson’.

“I never wanted that and I was forced to learn quickly so I wouldn’t be the weak link in the chain. Because of my pride, that catapulted me to stardom.”

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