Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
West Indies pace bowler Jerome Taylor has revealed that he never thought about retiring during his four-and-a-half year absence from the Test team.
Prior to the West Indies’ home series against New Zealand in June, Taylor’s last Test match came against Australia in November 2009.
However, Taylor still seems to be the same bowler from back then as he took 11 wickets at an average of 25.54 against New Zealand and seven wickets at an average of 27.14 in the recent two-Test series against Bangladesh.
But, Taylor will be face his toughest challenge of year in two days’ time when the West Indies square off against India.
With Taylor determined to build on the positive start he has made since making his Test comeback, he will go into the series against India reminiscing about how he dismissed Michael Hussey, Brett Lee and Brad Hogg to become the first West Indian to take an ODI hat-trick at the age of 22 in October 2006.
“How can I forget anything like that? It is there and it will be there for a very long while until I can put something in front of that,” he said. “But that was one-day cricket and that’s in the past. There are lot of things that can be achieved in the future. I am actually working on being a better cricketer overall as well.”
Even though he has succumbed to numerous injuries during his career, Taylor once again reiterated that he never thought of retiring.
“That thought [retirement] never crossed my mind,” he said. “It was more of physical challenge than a mental one. I have undergone a lot of stuff to get back to this point. It was a lot of work in the back end and it worked okay for me.”
Taylor also believes that playing against India will give him a much-needed boost of confidence and develop his drive to perform well since they are a higher-ranked opposition.
“This might be a good series for me,” he said. “If I give a good account of myself against one of the top-ranking teams, that would actually boost my confidence and would help my career move forward. When I look at the Indian team and their batting line-up, yes, you will be put under pressure, but you have to spend hours in the field if you want to hit the straps as soon as possible.
“What I do is try to listen to my body and use that as a guide going forward. Your body will tell you whenever something is wrong or right, and as a competitor, you cannot be afraid of expressing yourself in the park. Yes, it is going to stay in the back of your mind, but if you let that take over, then it’s going to hurt so much.”
Taylor also admitted that he is looking forward to bowling alongside fellow seamer Kemar Roach, who has been in red-hot form as of late. In fact, Roach is currently in ninth place on the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test Bowlers rankings after he took 15 wickets at a brilliant average of 23.20 in the series against New Zealand and 11 wickets at a stunning average of 16.36 in the two-Test series against Bangladesh.
“I haven’t bowled much with Kemar since he came onto the scene,” Taylor said. “It’s only in the last two Test series that we have got together and it is something that is working really well. We even work together in the nets, we share information and stuff like that. So we are looking forward to whatever challenge lies ahead.”