Roach targets NZ series for comeback
Kemar Roach, the West Indies fast bowler, hopes to be picked for the home series against New Zealand starting next month, after seven months out of the game. On Saturday, Roach played a Twenty20 match for his club CGI Maple. It was his first taste of cricket since a shoulder injury had ruled him out of West Indies' tour of India last November.
"I am glad to be back on the field playing for Maple and I am looking forward to representing the West Indies again as soon as possible with my focus on the Test series against New Zealand in a few weeks," Roach told the Barbados Cricket Association's (BCA) website.
Roach is part of West Indies' 20-man preparatory camp ahead of the New Zealand series.
"I have really missed playing," he said. "Seven months out of cricket is a long time and now I am at the point where I can play again. I am very confident that once I get some more sessions in and some strength work, I will be raring to go for the first Test against New Zealand, if selected."
Soon after leaving the India tour midway, Roach underwent surgery on his shoulder. Since April, Roach has been working with BCA coach Vasbert Drakes, West Indies coach Ottis Gibson and his Maple teammate Corey Collymore - all three are former West Indies fast bowlers - in order to get his shoulder back in shape for bowling.
"I was working with Vasbert and also had some sessions with Ottis," Roach said. "I was in the gym earlier in the year and then the bowling aspect of it started in April. It was basic stuff as in the rotation of the arm and the fundamentals of fast bowling.
"I practised with Maple the entire week before the game on Saturday. I was working with Corey and he helped me to get my technique back and some basic stuff about bowling. Corey watched me bowl on Saturday. He gave me some pointers on what he thought about my bowling and he told me about a few flaws that can be worked on in the next couple of weeks. It was a happy atmosphere and a very relaxed environment."
Roach said he was looking forward to facing New Zealand, particularly since they had beaten West Indies at home the last time the two sides met.
"After our Test series against New Zealand in New Zealand in December when we were beaten 2-0, I think this one is going to be very intense because the last time they came to the Caribbean two years ago we won both Tests," he said. "With a new captain in Denesh Ramdin, I think the guys can put in some good performances and win this series."