IPL 2019: Who is Indian Premier League’s new star Alzarri Joseph?
The Mumbai Indians management would have been disappointed to see Lasith Malinga leave for Sri Lanka to participate in a domestic tournament. Even though the Sri Lanka Cricket Board has allowed Malinga to play the IPL, the Sri Lanka ODI captain decided to travel back to Sri Lanka to watch some of the World Cup hopefuls play in Sri Lanka’s Super Provincial One Day tournament.
With Malinga out of the side, an opportunity emerged for a young West Indian fast bowler - Alzarri Joseph for the match against Sunrisers Hyderabad in Hyderabad on Saturday. The 22-year-old got off to a dream start in the IPL with best-ever figures in the history of the tournament. The fast bowler picked up six wickets for just 12 runs, beating Sohail Tanvir’s 11-year-old record of 6/14. Joseph made it to the Mumbai Indians squad only after Adam Milne was ruled out of the competition due to an injury.
Alzarri Joseph’s talent was first recognised by the entire world when he performed well in the U-19 World Cup in 2016. The pacer was the joint third highest wicket-taker in the competition with 13 scalps at an average of 13.76 and an economy rate of 3.31. Joseph was also part of the U-19 World Cup winning team in the same year. Former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop had said that Joseph should be fast-tracked to Test cricket at that time. In the World Cup, Joseph set the record for the fastest ball of the competition with 143 kph against Zimbabwe.
The fast bowler made his first-class debut in November 2014 and made his mark against Windward Islands with a seven-wicket haul in the following year. Joseph, then went on to make his Test debut against India in August 2016 as a 19-year-old and made his ODI debut against Pakistan in October 2016. Joseph is yet to pick up a five-wicket haul in Tests, but he recorded his best ODI figures of 5/56 against England in 2017.
During an interview with Mumbai Indians TV last week, Joseph had said that he will try and experience the places of India as much as possible.
“It’s my first time in India, it’s much bigger than what I am accustomed to back home. There are a lot of tall buildings here, from where I come from there are mainly a lot of trees and a lot of water. This is a very established city, I haven’t really seen much but I am going to try and experience it as much as possible and experience India as a whole,” said Joseph.