Saturday, February 24, 2018

Gabriel happy with consistency, eyeing Test recall

Before the start of the season, Trinidad and Tobago fastbowler Shannon Gabriel said he was looking for consistency and after six games, he thinks he has achieved that to some extent.

Gabriel has taken 20 wickets in the league phase of the Regional Four-Day Championships without taking a five-wicket haul and is hoping his consistency will keep him on the radar ahead of the three-Test home series against New Zealand starting in June.

The only fast bowlers with more wickets than Gabriel this season are the Windward Islands pair of Kenroy Peters with 23, and Nelon Pascal with 21. 

Jamaican Jerome Taylor also has 21.

The leading bowlers so far in the competition are all spinners, with Combined Campuses and Colleges’ Ryan Austin at the top with 33 wickets.

“It is a good feeling to get back some form and I just want to say thanks to coach Kelvin Williams for helping through some tough times,” Gabriel told the Express.

Asked if he was satisfied with the way he has been bowling and his form so far this                       season, Gabriel said: “My form is alright but there is still room for improvement.”

While he was a little disappointed not to get a five-for this season, Gabriel insisted: “I am not really thinking about that too much. I am just focused on what I need to do. I haven’t picked up a five-wicket haul but still in                                                          every game I have been just picking up three and four wickets and that is more important right now for the team to win the tournament.”

He could have had a few more wickets if the T&T fielders had held on to all the chances that came their way this season but that too does not bother the pacer.

“I was not too discouraged by the dropped catches because at the end of the day it is cricket you are playing and those things do happen, it is just to continue and keep moving forward. We still have a championship to win so hopefully I can continue to bowl well and help T&T win that title,” he added.

T&T will play the Windward Islands in the Four-Day semi-final starting tomorrow at Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain.

He said while securing a pick on the West Indies Test team is on his mind, helping T&T win this weekend is his top priority.

“I am just taking it one step at a time, one game at a time. Obviously I would love to play in the Tests (against New Zealand) but I am just concentrating on this tournament now. Hopefully I can get some more wickets and address the selectors with my performances.

“I have been putting in some extra work over the past few months and I am just happy that it is paying off,” he added.