Calcutta: West Indies fast bowler Jerome Taylor, who took his 100th wicket in the second ODI against India at the Kotla, has immensely benefited from Curtly Ambrose’s addition to the side. The former West Indies fast bowling legend is with the team as a consultant.
Taylor reached the milestone when he bowled Shikhar Dhawan at the Kotla. The 30-year-old has been in good form since his return to international cricket in June and now has 102 wickets.
He took his 100th Test wicket last month against Bangladesh.
“Ambrose is a very close friend of ours and the fast bowling unit is learning a lot from his wealth of experience. The guys are grasping it. We are improving and finding better ways to bowl on slow and low wickets.
“We have our task cut out and he is working very hard with us. We are looking forward to the games to come,” said Taylor in a WICB release.
“Once you are playing cricket you look forward to a landmark… It is pleasing and it is a good landmark to reach for each and every player. Not many people will play the game and reach those little milestones.
“I was very happy and I am feeling elated about it. It’s good to do the double and get 100 ODI and 100 Test wickets. Now the aim is to push on and get many more,” said Taylor.
“I’m thinking now about India... I’m focussing on playing the cricket ahead of me in India. The World Cup is a long way off and we have to come out hard and look to win the next match and also look to win the series. We did well in the first match but we slipped up at the Kotla, so we have to come back with a strong response.”
Taylor was positive about his future.
“I think it is an indeed important moment in my career. I am 30 at this point in time and as a fast bowler I don’t know how long my body will allow me to go on. Every day is a new day and you always try to better your previous performance. It doesn’t matter what it was in the past.
“It might be a five-for but you have to try and better it next time around. As a cricketer, I am always looking to improve. I am just trying to play each game as it comes and take it from there. I keep on believing in doing my basics right and move forward.”
Meanwhile, batsman Lendl Simmons has been ruled out of the remainder of West Indies’ tour of India with a back injury. Simmons will return to Trinidad & Tobago to continue his rehabilitation, according to the WICB.
The batsman was not picked in the playing XI for the first two ODIs and had only played a practice game against India A on the tour. The WICB is expected to announce a replacement for Simmons in the coming days.
Simmons, who last played a Test for West Indies in 2011, has not been a part of the five-day squad for the last couple of years but has featured regularly in the limited-overs matches.
The five-match ODI series between India and West Indies was reduced to four matches following the cancellation of the third ODI in Visakhapatnam due to a cyclone. The teams are level at 1-1 after two games.
The Telegraph, Calcutta