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.

Related items

  • CWI appoints Chris Brabazon as coach-education manager CWI appoints Chris Brabazon as coach-education manager

    A Level 2 coaching course which begins on Thursday in Kingston, Jamaica signals the start of the tenure of Chris Brabazon as Coach Education Manager, a new role created as part of CWI’s strategy to strengthen and invest in the development of coaching talent within the region. Chris has immediately travelled to Jamaica to observe the delivery of the Level 2 course.

    Director of Cricket, Jimmy Adams, welcomed Brabazon to CWI and highlighted the selection of Brabazon to the position.

    “I am delighted to welcome Chris to the Caribbean where he will be taking up the role of CWI’s first full-time Coach Education Manager.  His appointment is a critical feature of our strategic plan to produce world-class players and winning teams through the development of West Indian coaches,” Adams said.

    “Chris brings a wealth of experience having held a similar role of Coach Development Manager in Western Australia for the past six years.

    “He has worked at every level of the Cricket Australia coaching development pathway, from grassroots to international level, and is well-placed to drive CWI’s objective of developing our coach education programs.  I have no doubt that Chris will play a significant role in advancing our regional game and am very excited to be working with him on improving coaching standards throughout the Caribbean.”

    Speaking on his appointment, Brabazon was delighted to join the legacy of West Indies Cricket.

    “I am incredibly excited to join the team at CWI. In particular, I am looking forward to meeting and working with the coaches and coach developers throughout the Caribbean to ensure that all local players have access to inspirational learning environments that fosters their love of cricket.”

    Brabazon holds a Post Graduate Certificate in Business Administration, with over twelve (12) years’ experience specifically in cricket. He has functioned in coaching and talent development, as well as cricket management and accounting in his native Australia.

  • Labuschagne puts glut of runs down to 'riding the wave' Labuschagne puts glut of runs down to 'riding the wave'

    Marnus Labuschagne says "riding the wave" has been the key to his success after the Australia batsman scored a third consecutive Test century on day one of the series against New Zealand.

    Labuschagne's purple patch continued on a slow-scoring deck in Perth, the number three reaching stumps on 110 not out with Australia 248-4 in the day-night encounter.

    Don Bradman and Charles Macartney are the only other Australians to have scored three successive hundreds in the longest format.

    Labuschagne also became the fourth-fastest Australian to score 1,000 Test runs and the number three says staying in the moment has enabled him to spend so much time in the middle.

    "No hundred is easy, but today there was definitely patches where scoring really dried up completely and you just had to be patient and trust you were going to come out the other side," said the 25-year-old.

    "It's about riding the wave, not trying to get too high when you are going well, keep everything consistent, keep it process-driven in terms of your mind.

    "It's great to get runs, but just making sure you are doing your routines, keeping that clear mind on the field and from there you're just playing the ball as it comes. It's making sure you put a real high price on decision making."

    Test debutant Lockie Ferguson went for a scan after suffering a calf injury on a searing hot day and Labuschagne says Australia must try and make the tourists' bowlers suffer in the field if they are a bowler short.

    "I think one of the boys said when we came back in that he [Ferguson] pulled up with an injury, but me and [Steve] Smith didn't even know," the centurion said.

    "It's a massive advantage they do have an all-rounder [Colin de Grandhomme] in their side, so that probably does lighten the load but it's a massive advantage if we can really bat well tomorrow and keep them out there.

    "Batters, we've just got to keep putting runs on the board and with our world-class bowling attack, it gives them the upper hand."

  • Black Caps hopeful over Ferguson injury Black Caps hopeful over Ferguson injury

    Neil Wagner said New Zealand can only cross their fingers and hope debutant Lockie Ferguson has not bowled his last ball in the first Test against Australia.

    The Black Caps paceman pulled up with a calf injury on day one at Perth Stadium after bowling just 11 overs.

    Ferguson went for an MRI scan to discover the extent of the damage, leaving the tourists a bowler down as Marnus Labuschagne (110 not out) made a third consecutive Test century.

    Wagner, who took 2-52 as Australia closed on 248-4 in the day-night contest, felt for Ferguson as New Zealand wait to discover how serious his injury is.

    The seamer said: "It's gutting, isn't it. It's pretty heartbreaking and I know he'll be devastated.

    "We'll all get right behind him and hopefully it's not too bad. We haven't heard anything back yet so hopefully it's good, or better news than what everyone is expecting."

    Wagner added: "Hopefully we'll find out [the results] pretty soon. Fingers crossed it's not too bad, he's a quality player and we would have loved to have seen him bowl more."

    New Zealand, already without left-arm seamer Trent Boult due to a side strain, will assess Ferguson's fitness prior to Friday's play in the series opener.

     

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.