Former Pakistani fast bowler Sarfraz Nawaz has given the West Indies fast bowlers the thumb's up for their performance to date in the 2019 ICC World Cup in England.
The Windies fast men humbled Pakistan for just 105 runs in their opening encounter at Trent Bridge before the batsmen romped to a seven-wicket victory. They then reduced defending champions Australia to 78 for five with brutal pace bowling, before they recovered to score 288 and bowled the Windies out 15 runs short of that total.
In an exclusive interview with Guardian Media, Nawaz said he was pleased with the Windies bowlers' mindset thus far.
"The West Indies bowlers are pretty sharp and I like their work so far. They have really created a stir at this World Cup and if they can just continue to be consistent they will reach very far in this tournament," Nawaz said.
He added, "The way they bowled gave us a look at the past. I liked their use of the short ball and if they continue like this they would give a lot of problems to many batsmen in this tournament.
"The use of the short ball is good and a surprise element. They must know how the use it though and don't become too predictable. What I like is that there are a number of fast bowlers in the West Indies team that are coming through now and bowling at a good pace. Good pace can unruffle any batsman and we have seen that here."
Nawaz played 55 Test matches for Pakistan, taking 177 wickets at an average of 32.75. He had best bowling figures of nine wickets for 86 runs against Australia during the series in 1978/79 and also took 63 wickets in ODIs at 23.22.
Speaking of his battles with the West Indies in the past, Nawaz, now 70 years, said he enjoyed them and has remained good friends with a number of the former players.
"I thought that Gordon Greenidge was the most difficult of the batsmen to dismiss. He had a brilliant technique and battles with him was always difficult. I, however, enjoyed the company of Viv Richards and we have remained friends to this day," he recalled.
Nawaz has been back and forth between England and Pakistan as his children are studying in England.