West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite and head coach Phil Simmons have hailed the Test debut of 19-year-old fast bowler Jayden Seales as exceptional, and both men agreed the youngster could have along career at the international level despite playing just one first-class match before making it onto the big stage.
Seales’ three wickets proved to be the highlight for the Windies on the opening day of the Test match against South Africa at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia last Thursday.
However, that was all the success the youngster would get in the Test as Quinton De Kock’s unbeaten 141 on the second day put South Africa on course for an early victory by an innings and 63 runs on the third day yesterday.
However, Brathwaite saw enough of Seales to describe the bowler as “special” and “phenomenal,” while Simmons described the teenager’s debut as “exceptional” and something exciting for West Indies cricket.
“I think for a 19-year-old making his debut in international cricket and especially Test cricket, I think it was exciting for the West Indies on a whole, but I think it was an exceptional debut for someone at such a young age,” Simmons told the media yesterday.
“We saw from the way how he bowled, his maturity as a bowler so let’s hope this is the start of big things to come,” the coach added.
Simmons also noted of the Trinidad and Tobago fast bowler, who was used initially used in short five-over spells: “He was taken apart a bit by Quinton (de Kock) but Quinton is an experienced international cricketer, so I am not worried about that. I think he (Seales) has a great future (ahead of him) and like some others who have played only a limited number of first-class games — Michael Holding, Fidel Edwards — I’m sure he is going to come up to that standard.”
Meanwhile, Brathwaite was pleased to have another fast-bowling weapon at his disposal and said that “Seales in his first Test was magnificent.”
“Fast bowling is hard work. In this game, he bowled over 20 overs and he never once complained. Obviously, he’s young, but he was strong, his pace was up throughout, and I really think he’s something special for sure,” said Brathwaite.
Seales made his debut after Shannon Gabriel was ruled out of the first Test due to injury.
Simmons said Gabriel has been doing some bowling and will be further assessed in the days leading up to the second Test, which bowls off on Friday at the same venue.
He also noted that Nkrumah Bonner, who was struck on the helmet and had to be replaced by concussion substitute Kieran Powell, had some scans done and seems to be doing better. However, the coach said that it is too early to get into team selection discussions for the second Test.