By Neto Baptiste
Former West Indies and Antigua fast bowler Winston Benjamin, who has worked extensively with young pacer Alzarri Joseph, was impressed with the way the player handled the new ball during the senior men’s team’s six-wicket loss to Bangladesh on Wednesday.
Joseph, one of the more senior players on tour in Bangladesh after a number of the team’s regulars like ODI Captain Kieron Pollard, Test Captain Jason Holder and his deputy Roston Chase all opted out of the tour, was shouldered with the responsibility of bowling the new ball for the first time in his senior team career.
“I like his patience because that is key, and we spoke a lot about that, because he is one guy who thinks that he is supposed to get a wicket with every ball, but I want him to know that is not going to happen so you have to be patient. For me, that was most important, for him to be relaxed, didn’t get carried away because of the little bounce that was in the pitch, and was consistent when bowling the ball a little full,” he said.
Although going wicket-less in his eight overs, Joseph enjoyed a good economy rate of just 2.13, going for only 17 runs with three of his eight overs being maidens.
Benjamin believes Joseph will continue to improve, once given the opportunity.
“It would have been better with one or two in the w [wickets] column, but to be given a new ball first time up in that kind of condition, I thought he represented himself well and I am comfortable with that. We had a short conversation the other day and I just said to him, don’t change anything, just continue to do what you’re doing because if you’re not, you are going to try things that may not work, and in One Day cricket, the individual player at the time, whatever it is that he cannot deal with then, that is what you do,” he said.
The West Indies suffered a humiliating six-wicket loss in what was the first of three ODI’s, going down by six wickets with 97 balls to spare in the match played at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Dhaka.