Sinclair eager to grab opportunity at potential Test debut
Off-spinner Kevin Sinclair said he was ready to grab his chance after he pushed his case for a maiden Test cap for West Indies with a tidy spell in the closing stages of their three-day practice match against the Cricket Australia XI on Friday.
The 24-year-old Guyanese claimed three for 38 from 12 overs before the two teams agreed to end the match half-hour before the scheduled close at Karen Rolton Oval, with the CA XI on 149 for five in their second innings, still 243 in arrears.
Sinclair is one of seven uncapped players in the squad battling for a place in the Test 11 for the upcoming Frank Worrell Trophy series against hosts and world champions Australia.
“It was good to be among the wickets once again,” he told reporters after play. “The match was good practice and good preparation for us leading into the first Test. I did not get much batting, but to be honest, I got what I wanted out of this match.
“There was a bit in the pitch for the spinners, and I just tried to hit the good areas, bring the batsman forward, and challenge their defence as much as possible.
“I am always up and ready. Once my name is called, I am always ready to deliver the goods for my team and give it my all on the field.”
After tidy opening spells from the pacers, Sinclair got an extended spell and responded with the wickets of the opening pair of Tim Ward and Jayden Goodwin after they shared 76 for the first wicket.
He added the scalp of Teague Wyllie with all three of his wickets taken with close to the wicket catches to ease worries about the fielding – but the CA XI held firm for 39 overs to ensure the match ended in the inevitable draw.
“It will mean a lot to me to play a Test against Australia – and to my supporters back home, especially my grandfather,” Sinclair said. “He has been there with me from day one, so it will mean a lot, a lot, a lot.”
Sinclair said he had modelled his action after Barbados and West Indies part-time off-spinner Roston Chase, but he was looking forward of getting to chance to play against another off-spinner that he has admired for a long time.
“Also Nathan Lyon because he bowls off-spin,” he said. “If I got the chance to go up against Nathan Lyon, it would be a good opportunity.
“I have never met him, so I am looking forward to rubbing shoulders with him, and if I got the chance to play against him, it will be great, and a dream come true.”
Meantime, first-choice wicketkeeper-batsman Joshua Da Silva said he was grateful to be given the opportunity to spend time in the middle and get some runs under his belt.
Da Silva maximised his move to open the batting in the second innings of the match, striking 15 fours in a top score of 105 from 158 balls to help West Indies declare their second on 315 for five.
“It was nice to get some time in the middle of course,” he said. “Kraigg (Brathwaite) just asked me if I would like to go in at the top and just have some time in the middle, and luckily, I took advantage of it and was able to get some time out there.”
Da Silva is one of only four players along with long-serving pacer Kemar Roach, captain Kraigg Brathwaite, and vice-captain Alzarri Joseph to have played at least 10 Tests – and one of five to have played in Australia previously.
He said he wanted to perform better than he did on the 2022 trip Down Under when he had scores of 0, 12, 23, and 15 in the two Tests.
“I’m just trying to use the experience that I got last time,” he said. “I didn’t do too great, so I just want to do better than I did and get some runs on the board and keep well. Once I’m doing well, hopefully the team is doing well, and everybody chips in.
“It’s nice to be somebody they (first-timers) can ask questions about Test cricket. I’m still learning from them as well. Always good learning on the job and nice to lend my expertise as well.”
The practice match was the only contest West Indies had before they meet hosts and world champions Australia in a two-Test series, starting this coming Wednesday at the Adelaide Oval before moving to the Gabba in Brisbane on January 25. (CMC)