NEW DELHI: Former West Indies batsman Brian Lara has said that the side from the Caribbean will need the luxury of having runs on the board if they are to defeat England.
Lara said that bowlers like Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel will come into their own if they are not on the defensive and are looking to take wickets.
"Kemar Roach is one of the older guys in the time, he is one of the more experienced bowlers that we have but the key to any team taking the field, especially when they are taking the field after batting is how many runs do they have to play with," Lara told Sachin Tendulkar on Master Blaster's app '100 MB'.
"The Windies side in the 70s or 80s always used to put up 300-350 runs on the board, this present Windies side need the luxury of having runs on the board, they need their batsmen to give the bowlers some comfort," he added.
The 51-year-old Lara also said that West Indies has suffered the problem of not having enough runs on the board, and it is time for the batsmen to step up.
"The effectiveness of Roach and Gabriel will only come into play if they do not go defensive because of the lack of the runs. That has been our problem for many years," Lara said.
The first Test between England and West Indies will be played at the Ageas Bowl in Southampton from today onwards.
West Indies squad for the first Test: Jason Holder (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Chemar Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Raymon Reifer, and Kemar Roach.
All international cricket has been suspended since March this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, the series between England and West Indies will mark the return of international cricket.
The ICC has also confirmed interim changes to its playing regulations, including the ban of saliva to shine the ball and allowing replacement of players displaying symptoms of COVID-19 during a Test match.