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December 10, 2008
Fidel Edwards, the West Indies fast bowler, is eager to reach the 100-wicket landmark during the first Test against New Zealand starting in Dunedin on Thursday. Edwards has had to wait since June to get another chance at taking the five wickets he needs to reach the milestone.
"It is something I have been thinking about and this Test match is a chance to get there," Edwards said. "We have not played Test cricket since June [against Australia], so I have had to wait.
"I'm a fast bowler, so I'm here bowl fast and make the batsmen uncomfortable. But I'm here to get wickets as well. My rhythm has been very good and the aim is to get wickets and make a contribution to the team. I have been trying to stay fit and stay focused on my job."
Edwards last toured New Zealand in 2006 and picked up seven wickets in two Tests including 5 for 65 in the first innings in Wellington. He said since then he had developed the ability to bowl consistently. "I had a few injuries along the way, but I'm feeling stronger. I will be looking for big performances." Since then Edwards has taken 35 wickets at 35.65 from 11 Tests.
Edwards said he would bank on swing to pick up wickets in New Zealand. "I watched the New Zealand team when they played against Australia, and I saw the Aussies getting the ball to swing and the results followed. If the conditions stay this way the ball should do quite a bit. We are here to win the series, we know the Kiwis can be a tough team, but we believe we can win."
John Dyson, the West Indies coach, said his team would use New Zealand's recent 2-0 loss to Australia to its advantage. "You just have to look at the number of allrounders they [New Zealand] have picked to bolster their batting and that tells you that they are a bit worried about their batting," Dyson said. He was happy with West Indies' preparation for what he felt would be a 'hard series'.
"We expect our leading players to do their jobs, they are well known for that. What we are also looking for is for some of the lesser known players to put their hands up and say 'count me in too'."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.