“Once I get out there on the day and get the job done, I know I can get on top of any opponent,” says West Indies quick ahead of Test series against England
Last Updated: 27/06/20 4:52pm
Alzarri Joseph is determined to prove he is not the ‘weaker link’ in West Indies’ powerful pace attack during the Test series with England in July.
West Indies skipper Jason Holder and fellow seamers Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel – the last of whom is expected to be promoted into the main squad after initially travelling to England as a reserve – have played 40, 56, and 45 Tests respectively.
Joseph, in contrast, has featured in just nine with his young career so far affected by injury but, along with the uncapped Chemar Holder, the 23-year-old has been touted as the “backbone” of the pace unit going forward by West Indies legend Andy Roberts.
“I think more often than not teams will see myself as the weaker link, so I think my job is to come in and just back up those bowlers and keep the pressure on,” said Joseph, who picked up six wickets during West Indies’ first intra-squad warm-up game at Emirates Old Trafford last week.
“It’s not necessarily because of age but because of the amount of matches played compared to the other three bowlers.
“But I can use it as an advantage for me, because I know my abilities – they might not know, but once I get out there 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 push higher up the rankings. Any opportunity I get to play I’ll take it, and whatever the captain and the team requires of me, I’ll give my very best.”
England are unlikely to underestimate Joseph, who starred against them in Antigua in early 2019 as West Indies wrapped up a series win over Joe Root’s side with a game to spare.
Joseph twice dismissed Root in that match, in the first innings with a superb rising ball and then in the second after he opted to play on hours after the death of his mother.
On how he has coped following his mother Sharon’s passing, the seamer said: “For me that was a really hard time.
“But I used that as motivation for me to go out and on that day especially just to make some memories, something to remember her by. I just kept on doing everything I had to, to make her proud.”
Joseph played one Test in England in 2017, the series opener at Edgbaston, during West Indies’ 2-1 defeat and believes he is better for the experience.
“I think I have made some improvements as a bowler, that was a really big learning experience for me, my first time in England. I have some experience here now, I’ll know more about these conditions the second time around.
“The ball does a bit more here in England than in the Caribbean, so it needs some slight adjustments. Nothing too big, just some simple adjustments.”