Brooks not concerned about late start to Test cricket life

By November 28, 2019
Shamarh Brooks Shamarh Brooks

At 31 years old, Shamarh Brooks is playing in just his second Test, but he will not allow that late start to create anxiety that could mean he performs at less than his best for the West Indies.

Playing against Afghanistan in a one-off Test in Lucknow, India, Brooks’ 111 helped the West Indies to a dominant position on just the second day of the contest.

The batsman’s debut century, in conjunction with Rahkeem Cornwall’s 7-75 and 3-41 meant Afghanistan ended day two 19 runs ahead of the West Indies first-innings total with just three wickets remaining.

Afghanistan had first been skittled out for 187 and are now 109 for 7, after Brooks, John Campbell (55), and Shane Dowrich (44), helped them to 277 all out.

Brooks’ success though, has been a long time in coming. As a teenager, the right-handed batsman, made two under-19 World Cup squads, even captaining the West Indies youth side in 2008.

But Brooks’ promise never translated into the senior ranks as smoothly as was expected.

Brooks, having scored just one 50 for Barbados between 2007 and 2012, was dropped and went missing until he smashed 124 against the Windward Islands on his return in 2015.

He would score two more centuries that year and returned to the reckoning for a spot in the West Indies senior side.

He would play for Board Present’s XIs and finally made a West Indies ‘A’ outfit last year.

Brooks would repay the faith the West Indies had put in him as captain of the ‘A’ side with 91 and 122 not out against India ‘A’ during a tour of England and two half-centuries against them in 2019.

Those innings earned Brooks a call to the squad to face India in the West Indies but his scores of four and seven were not flattering.

Still, Cricket West Indies stuck with him for a second Test and he has delivered.

The long-time away from the international team, Brooks hints, never daunted him and he never felt his dream of playing for the West Indies was at an end.

“I guess it's just hard work and keep performing, and you never know when you get a look-in,” said Brooks.

The batsman has also learned how to approach different oppositions, saying Afghanistan posed a very particular challenge.

“The idea was to keep Rashid out as much as possible, and keep picking it off,” he said.

The result, his first Test century and he is a happy man.

"Always a good thing to get a Test century in my career. I just raised my hand for the team today,” he said.

Raising your hand, according to Brooks meant carrying on from the good work he did on day one when he helped the West Indies make a mini-recovery by stumps to end on 68-2.

Today, was much harder, but for Brooks, the plan was simple.

“I thought today was much harder than yesterday. The idea was to keep Rashid [Khan] out as much as possible, and keep picking it off,” he said.

The result might look like a foregone conclusion at the moment but there were times on day two when one couldn’t be sure.

“Once they were 50 for no loss, we thought we had to hang in there and get one wicket and you never know,” said Brooks of Afghanistan’s faltering second innings.

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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