Cricket

Nikita Miller open to Windies Test recall

Friday, December 08, 2017

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Spinner Nikita Miller is open to a West Indies Test team return after recently earning a call-up for the regional side's three-match One-Day International (ODI) series in New Zealand.

“Everybody knows that Test cricket is my first love, so I'm open to anything,” he told the Jamaica Observer ahead of today's departure to Down Under.

“Once it's [playing for] West Indies I'm ready, but my preferred version is Test cricket,” stressed the 35-year-old.

West Indies are in the middle of a two-Test series — in which they trail 0-1 — against the hosts, before they turn attention to the first ODI on December 20. The ODI series is followed by three Twenty20 matches against the New Zealanders.

The slow left-arm orthodox bowler has been red-hot for Jamaica Scorpions in the regional four-day tournament, capturing 23 wickets in his only two matches this season since returning to competitive action following a medical procedure in September.

Miller, who made his first-class debut in 2005, topped the bowling charts in the four-day tournament last season with 58 wickets. He is the all-time leading wicket-taker in regional four-day cricket, but has played only one Test — against touring Bangladesh back in 2009 — to go with 46 ODIs and nine T20 Internationals.

His last ODI was versus Zimbabwe in 2015, and now that he has gained a foothold with his stellar performances in recent times, he is determined to not let the chance go by.

“I wasn't even thinking about West Indies opportunity. I was just playing and enjoying my cricket at the regional level and [thinking] whatever happens, happens. The opportunity is here now, and it's just for me to grab it with both hands and with both legs. It's a great feeling and hopefully I can get the job done,” said the Jamaican.

After playing crucial roles for the Scorpions as captain and leading bowler, he expressed a pang of regret that he will be missing matches for them back in the Caribbean.

“There are mixed feelings because I love bowling for the Scorpions and I would love to help. But duty calls and West Indies is a higher level, it's a bigger calling, so I'm prepared and ready for that,” he explained.

West Indies ODI squad – Jason Holder (captain), Jason Mohammed (vice-captain), Sunil Ambris, Ronsford Beaton, Shannon Gabriel, Chris Gayle, Kyle Hope, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Nikita Miller, Ashley Nurse, Rovman Powell, Marlon Samuels, Kesrick Williams

— Sanjay Myers

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