Carib Beer Series, 2006-07 January 12, 2007

Wayne Daniel's tutoring helped - Best

Haydn Gill
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'I know I have a short fuse. I know I have to focus and concentrate' - Tino Best © Getty Images

Focus is the buzzword for Tino Best during the 2007 season. The West Indies fast bowler has bounced back with an impressive start to the new regional season after the disappointment of last year.

"The selectors gave me the confidence. I just need to focus," he told Midweek Sport. "As long as the Lord gives me the strength to focus and I don't get into any foolish trouble ... I know I have a short fuse. I know I have to focus and concentrate."

Best, 25, has quickly made up for lost time after spending most of last season on the sidelines. His four-wicket haul , generated with genuine pace that caused Trinidad and Tobago's batsmen discomfort in the Carib Beer Series match at the North Stars Club last weekend, went a long way in helping Barbados to a come-from-behind victory.

It was his first game for Barbados since he was dropped after his only match last season, and his performance won him many admirers. There are some who still aren't impressed, but Best isn't bothered by his detractors.

"They don't get to me. Some people tell me I am a Ferrari without control. If they tell me I am a Ferrari, that is a top car. If I am a Ferrari without control, all I need is a steering wheel.

"This game has shown me again how to get wickets. It slipped a bit, doubting yourself but the confidence is back there. I've got to remain humble. That is the most important thing for any sportsman, just remain humble, do the right things, keep it simple."

Best concedes that he was under some pressure in the second innings after he was wicketless on the opening day. But the advice of Wayne Daniel, the former West Indies fast bowler, helped put him on the right path.

"I was under a bit of pressure," he added. "Barbados has got a lot of quality bowlers. I don't mean bowlers who are just bowling. We've got guys who are wicket-takers. I must commend Wayne Daniel. After the first innings, he called me. He even came into the dressing-room and spoke to me for about 45 minutes. He spoke to me about my action. Once I got my action in place properly, things worked out for me."

After losing his place in the Barbados team, Best was in and out of the West Indies A squad, but he never gave up hope of returning to the regional arena. His goals for the remainder of the season are simple - to bowl fast and put the ball in the right areas.

"Once I bowl well, I think my team will win," he said. "I know I am a wicket-taker. Once I get one, I know I have the ability to bowl out a side by myself. I've just turned 25. When you have something like 170 odd first-class wickets in about 50 games, I don't think anything is slipping by."