Taylor eyes more success and injury free run

Published: Tuesday, May 2, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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St johns:Jerome Taylor has set his sights in the short term on becoming the leading West Indies bowler during his side's Limited-overs International series with Zimbabwe and India over the next few weeks.

The 21-year-old fast bowler has been dogged by injury that has left him nursing a chequered international career in which he has played just four Tests and six Limited-overs Internationals for the Caribbean side.

"The secret is that I am just going to keep it simple, but I am not surprised by my success so far because once you reach this level of the game, you can expect anything to happen and I am prepared for it," said Taylor.

"It's about doing the basics and doing them right in a most efficient manner and consistently.

"Although I am also looking forward to the Tests against India, I can't think about them right now. I'll take it one day at a time and try to get through the Limited-overs Internationals first."

Taylor won the Man-of-the-Match award for the second straight day, following West Indies' 98-run win over Zimbabwe in the second Limited-overs International on Sunday at the Antigua Recreation Ground.

He snared two wickets in an economical spell of 10 overs that cost 19 runs in Saturday's opener to the seven-match series, and then collected career-best figures of four for 32 from his allotment of 10 overs to set back Zimbabwe early in the second match.

A career-threatening back injury has twice sidelined Taylor for an extended period after he made his international debut against Sri Lanka three years ago, and on the recent tour of New Zealand he sat out the latter stages with a hamstring injury.

These setbacks have done nothing to dull his desire for the big times, but he admits that the road back from such crucial injuries continues to be challenging.

"You have to be able to put them behind you and come out ready to play. You have to be able to free your mind of it all, and go out there and give it your best.

"The start-stop nature of my career has been somewhat frustrating for me, but to be honest, you cannot prevent injuries. You can only minimise the chances getting them."

One of the challenges that Taylor has had to overcome was a slight adjustment to his bowling action to minimise injury.

"After I struggled with the back injury, they found out I had a bit of a mixed action and I had to change it in a certain way," he said.

"It wasn't too much of a change and it's working pretty much now. Hopefully, I can continue through the home series without injuries. This is another one of my goals."

Though pleased to have gotten some results in the first two limited-overs internationals against Zimbabwe, he was quick to acknowledge that the visitors are clearly under-strength.

"I'll have to admit that it's a B-ranked side, but we can't take them lightly though," he said.

"Once we go out there, we have to play hard and get our acts together for tougher opposition because West Indies are not playing the best cricket that we know we can right now."

The series against Zimbabwe continues when the two sides contest a double-header at Guyana's Bourda Oval on May 6 and 7.

They will also play the first limited-overs international under lights in the Caribbean at St. Lucia's Beausejour Stadium on May 10 before the series ends on May 13 and 14 at Trinidad&Tobago's Queen's Park Oval with another double-header.

Before the two weekend matches in Georgetown however, Zimbabwe tackle the University of the West Indies Vice Chancellor's XI in a limited-overs practice match on Wednesday at the Jolly Beach Resort ground.

West Indies will spend Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday in the nets before both teams wing their way to the Guyana capital.

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