Guyanese pacer Joseph ready to grab his chance
ADELAIDE, Australia (CMC) — West Indies pacer Shamar Joseph impressed onlookers with his raw pace against the Cricket Australia XI on Thursday and said he worked hard to put himself on the brink of a maiden Test cap.
The 24-year-old, one of seven uncapped players in the West Indies Test squad for the upcoming Frank Worrell Trophy series against hosts and World champions Australia, claimed two for 28 from eight overs to help the Caribbean side bowl out the CA XI for 174 in their first innings on the second day of the practice match at Karen Rolton Oval.
Joseph, who was working in a security firm in his native Guyana only two years ago, made a strong case to make his Test debut with only five first-class matches under his belt after he had the red Kookaburra sailing through at chest height on a hard, true pitch.
“It’s amazing for me, to be honest, knowing that I’ve been putting in a lot of work back at home and now getting the rewards for it, it’s been really nice for me,” Joseph said in a post-play interview.
“I’m just ready to go,” he added. “Always prepared to fight the war ahead of me.”
Since making his first-class debut in February last year, Joseph impressed the West Indies selectors, and they carried him on the A Team trip last December to South Africa, where he was the joint most successful bowler for the visitors with 12 wickets at an average of 21.25.
He said he was inspired to become a fast bowler by watching online videos of former West Indies pacers, Sir Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh.
“I was intrigued by a lot of fast bowlers back then Sir Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh and these men, so I actually followed it up, and I really loved it because that worked for me,” the father of two sons, aged two and four months, said. “So, I just continue doing that and it brought success for me.
On his approach to bowling during his spell: “I just adjust to conditions. I just stick to the basics and be consistent as much as I could. I just tried to bowl fuller when the ball is doing much for me.”
On the three no-balls he sent down: “I think I was a bit too fast getting to the crease. I just had to adjust myself and get back to my rhythm and that worked well for me.”
Joseph was easily the fastest bowler on the day, and his raw pace makes him an exciting prospect, but it remains to be seen whether the selectors will gamble with him and include him in the final 11 for the first Test against the Australians, starting next Wednesday at Adelaide Oval.
Joseph, who grew up in the remote village of Baracara, the only “maroon” village (settlements established by escapees from the African slave trade) in Guyana, said he expected his family that includes five brothers and three sisters to be watching if he is given the chance.
“They will watch, and they will support,” he said. “I know that support is out there for me, so I will definitely do my best to make them proud.”