Best back with 'better control and understanding'
Tino Best, the West Indies fast bowler, has said he has "better control and understanding" of his bowling after more than two years on the sidelines and is eager to make an impact for the national side against Australia in the ODI series at home, for which he's earned a recall.
Best, 31, last played international cricket in the 2009 Champions Trophy; his subsequent performance on the domestic circuit won him back his place in the West Indies squad. "I'm fully focussed. I am fully aware of what is expected of me and what is required by the team. I have worked extremely hard to get back into the team and I will continue to work hard to stay in the team," Best said.
"Everyone knows I'm the kind of player with great self belief and that belief has brought me to this point. I never gave up hope. I always believed that once I did what's required - stay fit and strong, bowl fast and bowl well - I would be knocking at the door. Representing the West Indies is the ultimate goal."
In his most recent first-class appearance in late February, Best picked up seven wickets for Barbados in their crushing win over Combined Campuses and Colleges and bagged 6 for 44 in a warm-up game that followed.
"One of the areas I have worked really hard on is my consistency of both line and length," Best said. "I try to keep up on my pace and I always try to look for wickets. I have been doing a lot of work with Vasbert Drakes in the Barbados team and he has been an amazing help. He helped me to refine my action and my approach to the crease when I bowl.
"Also, we have been working on my new-ball skills and trying to get the most out of the ball when it is hard and new and the wicket is offering help to the bowlers. I have put these things in place and I now have better control and understanding."
Another player who shone in the warm-up encounter was Kieron Pollard, who smashed 151 in 120 balls, striking 10 fours and as many sixes to rescue his side from the depths of 25 for 5. "I have been playing a lot of Twenty20 cricket, but when you practice, you do not practice Twenty20," Pollard said. "When you practice, you work on your technique and there are a number of things I have been working on."
"It was the kind of position in which I have found myself on a number of occasions in the past and I wanted to handle the situation differently. The team was in trouble, and I went out there and tried to stick it out a bit, hang around a bit, and see how it unfolded from there."
The ODI series begins on March 16.