‘Excited’ Joseph ready for maiden Test assignment
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – West Indies’ latest fast bowling recruit, Shamar Joseph, said he was delighted with his rapid rise to the international ranks but was not entirely surprised by his selection.
The 24-year-old was earlier this month chosen in a 15-man squad to tour Australia next month, after playing only five first-class matches.
“It didn’t come to me as a surprise but at the same time I was emotional and happy because playing for West Indies was my dream. It was always my dream so when I received the message I was very, very happy,” the Guyanese, who only made his first-class debut last February, told Starcom Network‘s Mason and Guest cricket show.
“When I was in Trinidad [for the Super50], Mr Desmond Haynes [chief selector] he talked to me and he said, ‘All you have to do is just do well.’
“So that definitely encouraged me that I had to go and do what I had to do, picking up 12 wickets in two matches [for West Indies-A in South Africa].
“Consistency was something I worked on over there so it [selection] didn’t come to me as a surprise but at the same time I was extremely happy knowing I had started my career earlier this year [with] first-class cricket for Guyana, then into the CPL [Caribbean Premier League], into Super50, into West Indies-A team and now into the senior team.
“So after putting in all this work, it [came] out good for me.”
Joseph, along with off-spinner Kevin Sinclair, topped the West Indies bowling charts on the South Africa-A tour, the right-armer averaging 21 runs apiece.
He was especially impressive in the second four-day Test at Bloemfontein where he finished with an eight-wicket haul, including taking all five wickets to fall in the hosts’ second innings.
Facing what is expected to be a difficult trip Down Under, Joseph said he planned to place emphasis on the same discipline which had brought him success in South Africa.
“It all depends on discipline. I want to maintain discipline which is important,” he explained.
“The basics in cricket is just to stick to the areas [and] things will happen. I’m not saying that all the balls will hit one spot but the more consistent you [are], the more things will happen for you.
“That’s all I did in South Africa. I just stuck to the basics and things happened for me.
“And what I heard based on the wickets [in Australia], it’s just a bit different with bounce and pace and these things, so I think that I would do very well over there. I have that confidence I will go there and do good.”
He added: “I am excited. It’s really exciting. Not only that but after putting in a lot of work, I have been looking forward to opportunities like these and I’m really excited. I’m really happy.
“I’ll be going to Australia where you know fast bowling is very important so I’m very excited.”
West Indies play two Tests from January 17-29.