‘I will remember this for the rest of my life’, says debutant Joseph
ADELAIDE, Australia (AFP) – Debutant Shamar Joseph gave the West Indies some hope after taking two top-order wickets during Australia’s reply to the visitors’ first innings total of 188 in the opening Test in Adelaide Wednesday.
Australia were 59-2 at stumps, with Usman Khawaja not out 30 and Cameron Green on six.
Australia were only 129 runs behind, but with key batsmen Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne back in the pavilion.
Earlier, Australian Captain Pat Cummins won the toss and sent the West Indies in to bat on a cool and overcast morning, a decision that proved fruitful when the visitors were reduced to 133-9.
But Joseph, playing only his sixth first-class match, gave the score some respectability with a breezy 36 off only 41 balls.
The best was still to come for the 24-year-old, who came on as first change and had Smith caught at third slip with his first ball in Test cricket.
It was Smith’s first outing at the top of the order since taking over from the now-retired David Warner, and may raise some concerns in the Aussie camp regarding the belligerent left-hander’s long-term replacement.
Joseph was not done, following the Smith wicket with that of Labuschagne, caught on the hook by Gudakesh Motie at deep fine leg to leave Australia 45-2.
“I had a few conversations with the boys in the dressing room,” Joseph said.
“I told them I would get a wicket with my first ball, but I didn’t know it would be Steve Smith.
“I will remember this for the rest of my life.”
Things could have been even better for the Windies had wicketkeeper Josh Da Silva not dropped Khawaja on one, a chance he should have taken.
Earlier, Josh Hazlewood took 4-44, including his 250th Test wicket, and Cummins 4-41 as Australia ran through the West Indies batting line-up.
Hazlewood said the wicket had played a bit differently from how it usually did in Adelaide.
“The wicket was an interesting one, not much pace and bounce and the odd one nipped around. I love playing here,” he said.
Australia had gone into the Test making only one change from the team that beat Pakistan 3-0 earlier in the summer, bringing in Cameron Green for the retired Warner.
It was a different story for the West Indies, who gave debuts to Joseph and all-rounders Kavem Hodge and Justin Greaves.