Image courtesy of: Zimbio
After spending more than a year on the sidelines, West Indies pace bowler Kemar Roach is eager to make his presence felt in the upcoming three-Test series against England.
Roach has not played Test cricket since January 2016 due to poor form and injury, but after being given another opportunity to revive his Test career, the 29-year-old is determined to make the most of it.
The Barbados native’s inclusion in the side is already paying dividends as he starred on the second day of the West Indies’ warm-up match against Essex by carving through the opposition’s top order with a three-wicket haul.
While Roach admits that it is difficult to get back in the groove after being kept out of the national team for a lengthy period of time, he is glad to have made a strong start against Essex, where he removed opener Varun Chopra for a duck on the third ball of the innings. He then proceeded to take out Dan Lawrence and wicketkeeper Adam Wheater to leave Essex in all sorts of trouble at 19/3.
“It’s pretty tough to go out there after two years off, getting back into the frame of things and adapting,” he told the Cricket West Indies website. “Test cricket is the biggest format of cricket there is [and] two years off is a long time but I’ve been working hard, I’ve done all the right things to be back here so I’ll just go out there, help the younger guys in the team and just put some good performances out there.
“It feels good to get out on the park after training so hard for the last couple weeks. It feels good to actually get out there and get some match practice. The ball came out well today, the rhythm was on and I got a couple wickets so hopefully tomorrow we can go out there and continue the good job we’ve been doing.
“I’ve been working on making the ball go both ways with the coach Roddy Estwick. I always had it in me but I needed to perfect it a little bit more so I’ve been working on that really hard and today it was perfect. My line and length were spot on. That’s where I want to be so I’m going to to keep working and building on that.”
Given that Roach is just one of three players in the West Indies squad to have played in England before, it is likely that he will play an instrumental role with the ball in the three-Test series, which begins on August 17 at Edgbaston.
Furthermore, Roach conceded that he gained a valuable insight into English conditions when he played county cricket for Worcestershire back in 2011.
“I’ve been here for Worcestershire and I’ve been here on a Test tour as well so I know certain grounds and how the pitches play and atmosphere and stuff,” he added. “It’s all about adapting quickly, it’s not back home, it’s not Barbados – it’s a little cold over here. It’s about adapting quickly and just going out there and doing the basics right.”