If the England batsmen are looking for a bit of breathing space – after facing Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder and Kemar Roach – it won’t be a surprise if they look to capitalise against Antiguan Alzarri Joseph.
The young West Indies pacer, though, has already sounded warning bells that England’s mindset of considering him the weak link could work in his favour.
“Obviously those three guys have a lot more experience than I do,” Joseph said. “I’d think more often than not, teams would see me as the weaker link. I think my job is to come in and just back those bowlers [up] and keep the pressure on. It’s not necessarily because of age, but because of the number of matches I’ve played compared to the other three bowlers.
“I could use it as an advantage – I know my abilities and they might not know. But once I turn up on the day and get the job done, I know I can get on top of any opponent. I see this tour as an opportunity for me to help the team to get higher up the rankings. Any opportunity I get to play, I’ll take it, and whatever the captain and the team require me to do, I’ll put my best foot forward.”
The challenge for Joseph, according to him, is to stay consistent. “I’m just looking to stay consistent,” he stressed. “I think I bowled pretty well (in the warm-up game) so I’m just looking to repeat what I did in the last game. (The 2017 tour) was a really big learning experience for me, my first time in England. So I have some experience here now – I know how to bowl in these conditions my second time around.
“The ball does a bit more here in England than in the Caribbean. It’s just some slight adjustments, nothing too big but some simple adjustments. For me, I think it’s about being consistent round that good area, extracting whatever movement you can get off the pitch, and sticking to plans as long as possible.”
West Indies are playing their final intra-squad warm-up game ahead of the first Test on July 8. However, Phil Simmons is not attending the clash as he is self-isolating. The head coach attended a funeral and will watch the game from his balcony.
“That doesn’t really disrupt our preparations,” Joseph said. “We have our jobs to do – we have our preparation to keep going with. We have a very big coaching staff here that are very supportive of each other, so that’s not really a problem for anyone,” Joseph said. (Cricbuzz)
Read our ePaper. Fast. Factual. Free.
Sign up and stay up to date with Barbados' FREE latest news.