West Indies’ only hat-trick bowler in one-day internationals, Jerome Taylor is proud of this feat. What makes it even more special for him is the fact that even his mentor, the legendary Courtney Walsh did not manage to take one. “It is a prestigious feeling,” he says.
Hailing from the same island, Jamaica, as the legendary Walsh, it is only natural for Taylor to try and emulate the great. “Walsh is from my country and I admire him a lot. There are others whom I have admired but Walsh is at my disposal. He is the one who is my idol,” said the 22-year-old after a long practice West Indies practice session, four days ahead of their Group ‘A second round clash against India at the Motera stadium here on Sunday.
Taylor, nicknamed Bobby by his team-mates, does not stop talking about his achievement. His three-in-a-row came against world champions and it came at a crucial time to bowl underdogs West Indies to confidence-boosting win. Taylor took four for 49 from the game last Wednesday. “It is pretty important for anybody to pick up a hat-trick in such a tournament (ICC Champions Trophy). It puts you in the forefront,” he said when quizzed how special it was to take a hat-trick against the number one ranked team.
Doing a quick memory check to see if he has taken a hat-trick ever in his life, Taylor came up to say: “Not that I can think of. This is the first ever hat-trick I have ever taken.”
However, it is contributing to his team’s success that tops his priorities than personal milestones. “I always take each game as a challenge,” the right-arm speedster said about their next opponents, India. “You have to win against India to go through to the semifinals. All of us in the West Indies team are taking each team as a challenge.”
While being pretty pleased with his present form,Taylor said that the current crop of fast bowlers in the West Indies team is working as a unit. “The competition among the quickies is a pretty tight one. Everyone is coming into his own and trying to put in his effort. So everyone is working pretty hard to win the Champions Trophy.”
Lara recovering well:
The West Indies, on a high from their 10-run win over Australia at Brabourne stadium on Wednesday last, have overcome all their injury worries. On Sunday at Ahmedabad, the team went through rigorous practice sessions with not all of them batting at the nets.
Captain Brian Lara, who missed the entire Australian chase due to back spasms, is responding well to the treatment. “Brian Lara is in contention for the next match,” said the West Indies media manager Imran Khan on Sunday. “He did not bat today. But that has got nothing to do with his fitness. So did a few others. He will bat in the nets on Monday.”
Khan also said that Shivnarine Chanderpaul has completely recovered from food poisoning that forced him to miss the game against Australia.
Fast bowler Corey Collymore, who returned home to be with his wife, who is due to deliver anytime, would return well in time for the game against India on October 26.