KINGSTON, Jamaica (CMC) – Fast bowler Shannon Gabriel has come in for high praise from bowling coach Roddy Estwick over his work ethic, following his recovery from injury.
Speaking during the ongoing first Test, Estwick hailed the effort by Gabriel after the Trinidadian speedster took two crucial wickets during the third day of the contest at Sabina Park, to finish with three wickets in the Pakistan first innings.
“Shannon is now the leading fast bowler in the team and he is the leader of the attack. He has really accepted that responsibility and is willing to work hard for personal success as well as team success,” Estwick said.
“I’m confident that he’s on the right path and he will make a big impact. He’s fully focused and knows what is required at this level.
“Test cricket is tough, it’s a true test of your skills and I’m working closely with Shannon and the other bowlers as we have a long year of Test cricket ahead. This is just the first (Test) match for the year and we have an exciting year ahead.”
Gabriel has been nagged by injuries in recent months, and missed a portion of the West Indies tour of Australia in 2015-2016 with an ankle injury.
Last November, he also missed a crucial One-Day International during the Tri-Nations Series in Zimbabwe and in March he pulled up in the ODI series against England in the Caribbean.
“He’s a very hard worker, he’s always been a hard worker since I first worked with him in Barbados [at the WICB High Performance Centre] and it’s really good to see that effort paying off,” Estwick said.
Gabriel bowled with pace and penetration to have Younis Khan caught at cover for 58, and three balls later clean bowled Babar Azam for 72 after a solid century stand.
Younis’s wicket was Gabriel’s 50th in Test cricket, ending an innings in which the Pakistan legend surpassed 10,000 runs.
Pakistan made 407 in reply to West Indies’ 286 to carve out a first innings lead of 121.
“Those were two vital wickets at a crucial stage in the day’s play and in the context of the match,” Estwick pointed out.
“Younis is a world-class player, as you can see from his phenomenal record and Babar looked solid and was playing really well. So I was pleased with the way Shannon bowled to get us back in the game. We need to maintain and get better.”