EDWARDS PRAISES COLLYMORE FOR SOUND ADVICE GOING INTO 2ND DIGICEL TEST
Fast bowler Fidel Edwards who picked up the first three Sri Lankan wickets on a severely rain affected first day of the Second Digicel Test said that he must give credit to his half-brother Corey Collymore – a fellow Barbadian and the West Indies seam bowler who is not currently in the squad.
“I got a bit more focussed, Corey has been telling me that I need to be a bit more patient on this (Queen’s Park Oval) wicket and let the ball do the talking,” Edwards told journalists after the end of the day’s play when Sri Lanka finished on 217 for 5 after recovering from 117 for 5.
Edwards picked up the first three wickets to fall and then fellow fast bowler Jerome Taylor grabbed two more to put the visitors in trouble but a sixth wicket stand of 100 between Tillakaratne Dilshan and Chamara Silva brought Sri Lanka back into the game on a day when 43.3 overs were lost due to rain interruptions.
Edwards, the right arm slinging fast bowler debuted in 2003 against Sri Lanka at Sabina Park after being picked from obscurity by then West Indies captain Brian Lara. He gained international attention for his unorthodox delivery action and a five wicket haul on debut but has had an indifferent time in Test cricket due to injuries and inconsistency. He said that being out of the West Indies team gave him time to reflect on advice from Collymore who played 30 Test matches and bagged 93 wickets and who is the highest rated West Indian bowler, sitting just outside the top ten of the ICC rankings at number 11.
“We don’t live too far apart and we’re always talking, if we don’t talk in person, we talk on the phone and he has been talking to me a lot, he helped me a lot throughout the years,” Edwards said of the seam bowler who is currently the Barbados captain in regional first class cricket but who has been overlooked by the West Indies selectors for the better part of the last year.
Edwards whose figures read 12.3 overs, 2 maidens, 3 wickets for 50 runs, also said that his rhythm is excellent and he used the overcast conditions to his advantage.
“I thought the first spell was ok, I got the ball in the right areas most of the time, it was swinging for me, it was overcast conditions and I just looked to put the ball in the right areas and work to the team plan,” explained Edwards who has so far taken 78 wickets in his 31st Test.
“The ball has been going through to the keeper pretty nice, it has been seaming a bit, it (the pitch) has a lot of grass on it, hopefully it can get hard, it is not as fast as I thought it would be but as the sun comes on it hopefully it can get hard,” opined Edwards as he spoke on the condition of the pitch.
But he explained that the Windies lost out on capturing additional wickets in the final session since after the rain the ball became wet and heavy and stopped swinging.
Edwards was left out of the starting line up for the First Digicel Test in Guyana which the home team lost but edged into the final eleven for the Second Digicel Test ahead of countryman Sulieman Benn, the lanky left arm spinner who debuted in Guyana.