While Trinidad and Tobago Red Force wicket-keeper/batsman Joshua Da Silva is satisfied with the rewards he has reaped so far this season, he is pushing himself even harder with the ultimate aim of playing Test cricket for the West Indies.
The 21-year-old right-hander finished fifth on the list of the top batsmen in the Cricket West Indies (four-day) Championship that was aborted earlier this week with just two rounds left to play.
Da Silva scored 507 runs at an average of 50.70, including a highest score of 113 not out. His returns with the bat have also positioned him at the top of the Red Force chart ahead of seasoned campaigner Jason Mohammed, who has tallied 424 runs at an average of 42.40 and a high-score of 119.
Apart from abruptly terminating the four-day season as the Caribbean grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, Cricket West Indies (CWI) has cancelled two other competitions under its purview and postponed two others indefinitely.
Before the shutdown, Da Silva was having a pretty good season and he credited the extra work he put in to his fitness, which he said was key to his success.
“It has been going really well...better than I could have probably hoped,” he told the Express before the final rounds were officially aborted.
“My goal was to score 500 runs for the whole season and I have just crossed that, and with an average of 50, so I am very happy with that. Once I got to 500 I was going to set a new goal so hopefully, we will get to play the remaining two matches to finish off the season. But if not, I will be very happy with my performance because I have also played at least three innings less than everybody else.”
From the first time he set foot in the Red Force team in December 2018, Da Silva knew he had to improve his fitness level and he has identified that as a priority.
“My concentration and fitness...I am a lot fitter this year than I was last year and in every interview I have done, I have spoken about that. I am still not where I want to be but I will continue to work on it and I will be fitter in the coming months. I am reaping the rewards of the discipline I have put into that aspect of my game,” Da Silva added.
With the results he has seen so far this season, Da Silva believes he is a step closer to making a West Indies team and he says he is more motivated than ever to keep on putting in the extra effort.
“I think I am definitely closer to making a West Indies team now than I was before. I am hoping to make it onto the West Indies A team and move one step closer to my ultimate goal of playing Test cricket,” he explained.
“Last year, coming into the first-class season, I had no idea of what to expect or what we were going to do, so I wasn’t fit for that at all. I used to do my own work at Queen’s Park (Oval) but coming into the set-up, it really showed me the kind of discipline and effort required,” he explained.
“I was never one to go to the gym often, so it was a new thing for me but this year I definitely put all the work in. I know this is just one step and when we go up to the next level it is going to be even harder, so I am trying to prepare myself as best as possible,” he concluded.