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Daily Nation

Confusion over Collymore fitness

Conflicting stories are emanating from the hierarchy of the West Indies team over the fitness of Corey Collymore

Haydn Gill

Corey Collymore: is he or isn't he? © AFP
Conflicting stories are emanating from the hierarchy of the West Indies team over the fitness of Corey Collymore.
Those revelations, made on separate days in separate interviews by captain Brian Lara and coach Bennett King, came against the background that Collymore did not bowl a single ball during the final two sessions on the fourth day of the first Test at the Antigua Recreation Ground on Monday.
While King described Collymore as "fit" and "fine", the same day Collymore spent the last four-and-a half-hours in the outfield but 24 hours later, Lara was disclosing that his key fast bowler "was not 100% fit".
When King was asked about Collymore's status on Monday, his response did not suggest there was a problem. "Corey is fit. He is fine," the West Indies coach said. "I guess in how we were trying to structure the game, we were trying to keep that run-rate manageable. We knew that they [India] were going to set up the way they did. They did try and keep wickets intact so they could have an assault later in the day. That's exactly how it unfolded."
While Collymore was out of the attack and fellow fast bowler Fidel Edwards was missing because of a hamstring injury, India dramatically increased the tempo in the post-tea session when big-hitting Mahendra Singh Dhoni launched a brutal assault on left-arm spinner Dave Mohammed. While India were limited to 93 runs in the first session, and 70 between lunch and tea, the evening fireworks produced 143 runs in next to no time.
After the match ended in a tense draw on Tuesday, Lara revealed that Collymore "was not 100% going into the second innings" and was then asked about the nature of the problem. "I'm not the medical person in the dressing room, but I know he was feeling a pinch in his shoulder," the West Indies captain said. "You've got to realise that he is our top bowler. He is our top performer with the ball. We want him for all the Test matches this series.
"If Fidel felt that injury he had the ball before, it might have been great reason just to go and take him off. I didn't want to take any sort of situation with Corey and turn it into a bad one. I opted not to use him later on in the game when things were running away from us."