On the mend
Former WI fast bowler Jerome Taylor doing well in practice sessions
INJURY-PLAGUED fast bowler Jerome Taylor has shown encouraging signs in training, according to Jamaica cricket head coach Junior Bennett.
Taylor, the victim of a series of back-related injuries over the years, is a part of a 45-member squad recently called up to begin preparations for the upcoming Super50 and Four-day regional tournaments.
Bennett said the side-lined West Indies pacer showed good rhythm, even though not at full throttle, in a recent squad game played over two days.
"He bowled a few spells in the game and there were no complaints. He bowled without pain or anything like that. He's taking his own time easing back into the cricket.
"He bowled a five-over spell to start with and I think he bowled a four-over spell after that. It's a good start, it's a very good start. He bowled with good rhythm, but not at top pace because you really don't want him to be at top pace so soon.
As time goes by he should be increasing his pace and everything, but for the moment it's looking encouraging," Bennett told the Jamaica Observer yesterday. Taylor played 29 Test matches between 2003 and 2009 and took 82 wickets at 35.64.
He also has a Test century. In 66 One-Day Internationals, the 29-year-old has taken 98 wickets at 26.82. After suffering a back injury in Australia in late 2009, Taylor returned in mid- 2010 to participate in the limited-overs phase of the series against the visiting South Africans, but that comeback was frustratingly curtailed by more backrelated ailments.
Bennett stressed that Taylor's adherence to his training programme in the off-season and careful monitoring of his current preparation are key components for him to remain injury-free.
"Definitely the background work is important. We have to keep our eyes on things and keep our fingers crossed that everything goes well and he overcomes the obstacles.
"I spoke to him and he is good. He spent the entire day in the field during the practice match and that's something he hasn't done for a very long time," Bennett said.
The squad is now on a break for the Christmas and Boxing Day period before returning to camp for a 2:00 pm session on December 27th. Another two-day practice game will follow on the 28th and 29th.
The Super50 competition will be played in Trinidad & Tobago, starting on January 30.