Jayden Seales

LISTENING CAREFULLY: New West Indies Test recruit, fast bowler Jayden Seales, right, takes in the instruction from Windies assistant coach Roddy Estwick druing a training session at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia ahead of the first Test tomorrow. —Photo: CWI Media

I am ready.

Trinidad and Tobago fast bowler Jayden Seales is confident that he can step up to the Test level after being named in the final West Indies 13-man squad for the first Test against South Africa, starting tomorrow at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia.

The 19-year-old, who represented the West Indies in the ICC Under-19 World Cup last year, could be in line to make his Test debut after fellow Trinidad and Tobago Red Force pacer Shannon Gabriel was ruled out of the first Test due to injury.

Seales is among four fast bowlers selected in the 13-man squad, the others being Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach and the number one ranked Test all-rounder Jason Holder.

Speaking to the media during a Zoom call yesterday, Seales said he was living his dream by being part of the West Indies set-up and that he was not rattled just yet by being on the cusp of a possible Test debut.

“Firstly, it is a dream come through to be in the set-up and making the final 13 was a goal of mine and it is just a matter of hoping I get to play in the first Test match and do

my best for the team,” said Seales.

“The nerves haven’t kicked in as

yet. Probably on the day I might get some of those butterflies but as of now it is just to continue the hard work in training and make sure everything is in tune...I am ready to take on any task that the team asks,” he added.

As for his confidence ahead of the match, he said:“I didn’t play much first-class cricket but being around the set-up and training with the team from (the tour of) New Zealand to now, I think I have put in a lot of hard work, and I think my body is ready and it is just a matter to go out there now and perform for the team.”

Cricket West Indies lead selector Roger Harper also agreed that the former Under-19 player may be ready for the big stage after bowling well in the Best vs Best practice match ahead of the series when he grabbed one for 47 and four for 40.

“I saw young bowlers perform in a game where Test players and the best of our regional first-class players were playing and he performed exceedingly well and better than a number of players who have been playing first-class cricket over a number of years,” Harper said of the right-arm pacer.

‘Best of the first-class players’

“The match wasn’t classified as a first-class match, but those matches were played by the best of the regional first-class players, and he performed exceedingly well so I would like to think that if he could perform well in those games against those players, he has the potential to transfer that onto the Test scene,” he continued.

“At this point we think that Jayden Seales is best placed among the fast bowlers to serve the purpose that we are look ing for at this point,” Harper added.

If given the nod, Seales said he will be just trying to follow the example of Roach.

“For me, if selected and given the new ball as well, it is just to go out and follow Roachie. If Roachie has the new ball he is doing well and bowling good areas, it is my job to do the same and try and get an early breakthrough for the team,” Seales said.

In terms of his bowling style, Seales said it comes naturally and that he has been working to incorporate all that he has picked up from his fellow fast bowlers into his game.

“I never tried to adapt any bowling style. It just came naturally. I have been told I have a similar action to (Kagiso) Rabada. I just looked at the old West Indian bowlers and now being in the set-up, I worked with Jason and Roach and Shannon very closely and tried to learn as much from them and take it into my game,” Seales concluded.

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