Shamar Joseph: ‘I wasn’t even coming out to the ground today’
A literal toe-crushing yorker from Mitchell Starc on day three put in doubt Shamar Joseph’s participation in the rest of the second Test in Brisbane. In fact, he wasn’t even going to be at the ground on the fourth day.
But his doctor treated him and he ended up bowling a spell of a lifetime to seal a historic win at the Gabba.
Joseph, starting to bowl towards the end of the first hour of day four, took seven wickets in a spell that saw him bowl 11.5 overs on the trot with only the dinner break offering him some respite.
“I wasn’t even coming out to the ground this morning to be fair. I must give a shout-out to the doctor,” Joseph told the broadcaster after the game. “He is an amazing doctor to me. He told me to come to the ground for a reason, even if it’s just to support the guys.”
“But I came and he did something to my toe. I don’t know what he did but something worked. So I just had that time to go out there and bowl and bring this game home for my team.”
West Indies had to take eight wickets, while Australia were 156 runs away from their 216-run target. Once he came into the attack, Joseph’s only plea to his captain Kraigg Brathwaite was to keep him going “till the last wicket falls”.
“It was just [about being] positive. That’s all. [My team-mates] said just go out there and do it – take wickets,” he said. “It was just our positivity. I am not that tired because I wanted to do this for my team. I told my skipper I would bowl to the end until the last wicket falls.
“It doesn’t matter how my toes are, I’m okay. I did it for him and I am happy that he is proud of me now.”
This was West Indies’ first Test win in Australia since 1997, and the first against them since 2003, and the magnitude of the feat wasn’t lost on the 24-year-old.
“I feel like we won the series. Even though it’s 1-1 I feel like we won the entire series,” Joseph said. “I feel really amazing for my team-mates. They are really encouraging and I am glad that I made them proud and bring the series to 1-1.
“Tears came to my eyes right now. I already cried during my five-wicket haul [in the first Test]. It’s just happiness. That’s the emotion I can bring out right now. Just happy that we won the Test.” (ESPNcricinfo)