Cricket

Debutant Shamarh Brooks anxious to showcase skills for Windies

Saturday, August 24, 2019

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NORTH SOUND, Antigua (CMC) — Debutant right-hander Shamarh Brooks says he will be looking to cash in on the “good batting track” at the Vivian Richards cricket ground as he looks to make his first taste of Test cricket a memorable one.

The 30-year-old said while the surface had offered assistance to the seamers early on, it had flattened out as the day progressed and was now ideal for run-scoring.

“This morning when we started it (pitch) was a bit spongy; the ball was not coming out of the wicket as well as we would've expected,” said Brooks, a West Indies A-team captain.

“Now it has settled down a lot and credit must go to (Ajinkya) Rahane and the way he batted. It is a much better batting wicket now and we just need to stay patient, look to make inroads tomorrow (yesterday), and try to get them out as early as possible.

“The wicket is really a good batting track now, in my opinion, and to get six wickets today (Thursday) was a plus.”

Brooks was named in the final XI to face India in the opening Test of the two-match series here Thursday, after first-choice wicketkeeper Shane Dowrich was ruled out with injury.

With Shai Hope taking over the gloves, Barbadian Brooks filled the vacuum created to gain his first Test cap, after touring with West Indies earlier this year but failing to break into the XI.

Brooks, who averages 33 from 73 first class matches, said receiving his Test cap from Windies legend Sir Vivian Richards had been an inspiration, and he was now focused on showing his worth with the bat.

“Being presented with the cap from the legend Sir Viv was a very great feeling. We all know what he's done in the game and it's just to follow in his footsteps or the other great players before me,” Brooks said.

“I'm looking forward to getting the opportunity to bat. I've been working very hard over the last two, three seasons so it's just for me to go out there and apply what I've been doing, stay consistent, trust the process and enjoy it.”

He eventually made 11 runs.

Brooks said West Indies deserved much credit for their effort with the ball, especially in the morning session on Thursday's opening day.

“Preparation went well for us over the last five days and today was just a result of the work we've put in,” he pointed out.

“Credit must go to the coaching staff and to the bowling coach for putting in the work they have put in. I thought Kemar (Roach) really came out and bowled exceptionally well with the new ball and there was good support from Jason (Holder), Miguel (Cummins) and Shannon (Gabriel), and Roston (Chase) chipping in with his wicket — so we're in good spirits.”


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