West Indies are currently featuring in their 500th Test, against Bangladesh. Here's a look at some legends the game has produced over the years.
Gary Sobers: If Don Bradman is rated the greatest batsman the game has produced, Sir Gary Sobers is widely recognised as the best all-rounder the game has produced. He was the man who once held the record for the highest Test score 365, before it was broken by countryman Brian Lara. While Sobers played some of the greatest knocks of his era, he was also a highly skilled bowler, who picked up more than 200 Test wickets. Few players have a better all-round record in the game.
Michael Holding: West Indies cricket produced numerous deadly fast bowlers in their prime. Undoubtedly, Holding was among the best, and one of the most fearsome of them all. He was famously referred to as Whispering Death due to his pace and fury. Many a great batsman fell prey to his guile, and genius. Holding rarely struggled to trouble the batsmen during his career, which is ample proof of his greatness. The fact that Holding is rated among the best though West Indies produced equally deadly fast bowlers like Joel Garner and Andy Roberts during his era, is further proof of his greatness.
Vivian Richards: The Smoking Joe of cricket, Sir Vivian Richards' swagger, and everything he did on the cricket field, including his approach to the crease was every inch West Indian. If you want to know the actual meaning of Windies flamboyance, you only had to watch Vivian Richards bat. He could intimidate opposition bowlers with his mere presence, and pummelled many of them into submission with his splendid stroke play. Irrespective of the situation, Richards was always in attacking mode, and rarely failed.
Curtly Ambrose: It was a tough choice between Ambrose and Courtney Walsh when it comes to picking the best West Indian bowler from the 90s. When, it came to longevity, Walsh clearly outlasted Ambrose. However, the latter had a significant edge in that he had better pace and accuracy to trouble the best in business. Some of the spells Ambrose delivered at his peak bordered on the unbelievable. His tussle against Steve Waugh instantly comes to mind. In an era where West Indies struggled, Ambrose stood tall.
Brian Lara: A piece on West Indian legends would be incomplete without the mention of Lara. In many ways, he was the batting equivalent of Ambrose in the team, almost singlehandedly keeping the team's flag flying high in the batting department. The best aspect of Lara's batting was that on his day, he could pull off miraculous wins on his own. Consistency was not always his forte, but he made up for it with some fabulous performances. Truly a great in every sense.
--By A Cricket Analyst