Jerome Taylor was just 18 years old, with a solitary one-day match for Jamaica under his belt, when he was called into the West Indies squad.india Updated: Oct 23, 2006 18:10 IST
Jerome Taylor was just 18 years old, with a solitary one-day match for Jamaica under his belt, when he was called into the West Indies squad for the final match of their series against Sri Lanka in June 2003.
It was the culmination of an explosive first season for Taylor, who was named as the most promising fast bowler in the 2003 Carib Beer Series, after picking up 21 wickets at 20.14 in six first-class matches. That haul included a second-innings spell of 8 for 59 in Jamaica's five-wicket victory over Trinidad and Tobago, a match in which he took ten wickets for the first time.
But a back injury sidelined him from competitive cricket. He picked up 26 wickets at 16.61 in the Carib Beer Cup in the 2004-05 season and in the next, he grabbed 12 wickets at 29.00 to force his way back into the West Indies team. When India toured the West Indies in mid-2006, they ran into an energised Taylor at his best.
Quick and accurate, Taylor turned into West Indies' spearhead as the series progressed. His pacy burst on the lifeless surface in St Kitts won many admirers but it was his lethal performance in Kingston that underlined his worth. Getting the ball to lift off a good length, he thrilled his home crowd with his maiden five-wicket haul in Tests. West Indies will hope it is the first of many.