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A bolt from the blue - Kyle Mayers takes Test cricket by storm

About three years ago, he was caught in a hurricane. Now, he has played a hurricane of a knock.

Mohammad Isam
Mohammad Isam
Who is Kyle Mayers? Just who is this left-handed batsman who just created history with his team's backs to the wall? And where did he learn to play spin so well?
From the manner in which Mayers negated and then dominated Bangladesh's spin trio on his way to this dreamy double-hundred, it is easy to believe that he must have a great record against spin. He has a good reputation against spin bowling from domestic cricket, but if you see his recent CPL numbers, the Mayers story gets interesting.
He had a shocking time against spin in the 2020 season, getting out five times in 84 balls, and looked ungainly. Before this breakout innings, he got out to offspinner Mehidy Hasan Miraz twice during the ODI series and once in the first innings in Chattogram as well. All of his improvement therefore seems to be a mental adjustment, as he played the ball very late, and latched on to every mistake from the Bangladesh bowlers.
Then, surely he must have a great domestic record.
Meyers made his first-class debut in November 2015, but only bloomed in the 2019-20 season when he scored 654 runs at 50.30, with two centuries. He had also made his maiden List-A hundred, during the same season. Still, he wasn't in the selectors' radar for an international call-up.
His mental strength was very impressive. Has there been any incident in his life where he was tested to the hilt?
Interesting you mentioned his mental strength. Little more than three years ago, Mayers was caught up in Hurricane Maria when he had gone to Dominica with the Windward Islands franchise team for a training camp. The roof came off from his apartment where he and a roommate had to fend off some flooding.
Mayers spent the next morning searching for food and water, and later was helped by local police and team officials. Even in those distressing circumstances, he made sure to phone not to worry his parents, who were in Barbados, and immediately phoned them to let them know he was okay.
How did he make it to the West Indies team?
Long story short, it was his CPL 2020 performance that got him noticed. He made 222 runs with a fifty, looking strong against the fast bowlers. He had earlier got a place in West Indies' reserve players roster during their England tour last summer, where he played both practice matches. He made his international debut in a T20I series against New Zealand but he barely had any impact in either of the games he played at Mount Maunganui.
Mayers followed that up with just 30 runs in two first-class matches against New Zealand A, but with the West Indies having to pick a lot of new players due to pull-outs from their experienced ones, Mayers made it to the Bangladesh tour, in both the ODI and Test squads.
Tell us about his early years
As Carlos Brathwaite said in a recent chat with ESPNcricinfo's Alexis Nunes, Mayers is one of the most impressive young cricketers in Barbados. He made it to the West Indies Under-15 side during a 2008 tournament involving teams like Pakistan, Malaysia, the Americas and, you guessed it, Bangladesh. In fact, Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell and Kavem Hodge, who are all in this current West Indies Test squad, were Mayers' team-mates. He would have remembered Liton Das from that time too, as he was the Bangladesh Under-15 wicketkeeper.
Mayers went on to play for West Indies Under-19s in the 2010 World Cup and for the following five years, he played around the island in various teams, before making his first-class debut.
So can he hold on to his place in the West Indies side when the big boys return?
After such an innings, it will be hard to drop Mayers. He has played a match-winning knock from No 5 in conditions where most of the other batsmen have struggled. He has shown a lot of improvement from the start of the tour, and now he has the numbers to back up his potential.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84