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  • Writer's pictureRebecca Ruthven

Fairytale spell to revitalise West Indies love for Test

Former Cricketer Bryce McGain believes the West Indies’ performance at the Gabba will rejuvenate the region’s love for test cricket. 

24-year-old Shamar Joseph bowled the West Indies to a thrilling eight-run victory against Australia, taking 7/68 off 11.5 overs

In only his second test, he has two five-wicket hauls under his belt, earning him the Player of the Series award. 

Before his match-winning spell, Shamar struggled to walk after being on the receiving end of a Mitchell Starc yorker.

McGain told SportFM that Joseph bowled with maturity and speed which resulted in his heroic spell. 

“It just challenged all the batsmen so much and it was really impressive to knock over four of the Australian batting lineup and get the last wicket,” he said.

“He had them out bowled, so he was attacking the stumps, the movement, he beat the edge, stumps everywhere. It was so impressive and he's a fast learner and he's getting rewarded for that.

“The West Indies will be rejuvenated, the whole nation will be lifted by this and it can be a little spark that's a little brushfire in terms of young cricketers in the West Indies loving the game again.” 

Although the series was split 1-all and Australia retained the Frank Worrell trophy, there was plenty of upside for the visitors to take from the two matches. 

Aside from Joseph’s stellar showing with the ball, plenty of players also shone with the bat. 

Kirk Mckenzie fell one run short of being the series’ top run scorer, finishing on 138, while Josh De Silva and Kavem Hodge made 79 and 71 runs respectively in the first innings. 

McGain noticed the West Indies side that played this summer looked completely different to those who featured last summer.

“It really had a different vibe about it to when we saw them out here last year. We saw a lot of disinterested cricketers,” he said.

“This was a squad dedicated of 14-15 players dedicated to coming here and playing Test Cricket to the best of their ability. They learned so much in Adelaide and you could position the positives of how they played in Adelaide to then take on Australia up at the Gabba where Australia just don't lose. 

“They're not household names but they just fought so very hard. All their batters getting starts... These guys, they got the job done against our pace attack.”

Once considered a Test powerhouse, the West Indies had not beaten Australia in two decades, with Sunday’s victory breaking that doubt. 

Many considered the West Indies an outside chance to beat Australia in the two-test series, given their recent decline in the Test cricket realm - largely due to the rise of T20 franchise cricket. 

McGain believes the discourse surrounding the West Indies' devotion to test cricket has been "disrespectful".

“I think we treated them with a bit of disrespect, and they have hunted it down with players that love playing for the West Indies,” he said. 

“They love playing test cricket and they've shown that you can beat the big brother on their own turf.”

IMAGE: The Sydney Morning Herald


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