T&T fast bowler Shannon Gabriel has praised the efforts of former West Indies speedster Ian Bishop in assisting him, after grabbing his first five-wicket haul in Test cricket yesterday, on the second day of the second Haier Cup Test match at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.
Bishop, who is here doing commentary for TenSport on the series, has been speaking to the players who have sought his help and Gabriel is one. Gabriel grabbed 5/96 to help bowl out Pakistan for 452 batting first. West Indies at the end of the day had replied with 106 for four.
“It was a good performance, something I have been waiting for a while. It took 20 Tests to come but I will still take it,” said Gabriel on his performance, citing that his fitness has a lot to do with his improved performances.
“Coming back from Australia, I had time to reflect and come up with different ways of improving my career. I decided to get fitter knowing that once I do that, I will be able to bowl better for longer. I have been getting the encouragement from Bish (Ian Bishop) Roddy (Estwick) and I am just lucky enough to able to put all that I have practised in play to get the results.”
The pitches here so far, have been very flat but the La Romaine man is not shying away from the challenge.
“Bowling on these pitches is a bit hard, takes a lot of out you. You just have to believe in what you can do and go out there and do it. A fast bowler is pretty tough, been doing it some years now, so I just run in and do my thing.”
The T&T Red Force opening bowler added that he got more assistance from the traditional red ball, as compared to the pink ball used for the day/night Test in Dubai.
“The pink ball is not doing as much as the red. With the red ball as you have to do is put the ball in the right areas and let it do its thing.”
West Indies need another 147 runs to avoid the follow on when play resumes today but Gabriel is confident.
“Unfortunately we lost a couple wickets late but we still have guys in the back there who have scored Test centuries, so we are backing them.
“We are playing together as a team, we celebrate each other’s success and we are looking to do better. In the first Test (Devendra) Bishoo grabbed eight wickets and we were happy for him. We are giving a great team effort and everyone is trying their best,” said Gabriel on the team’s morale.