Oshane Thomas: I want to be counted among the greats

The 23-year-old seamer aims to excel in all three formats of cricket for the West Indies.

Oshane Thomas has played 20 ODIs and 12 T20Is for West Indies.   -  AP

West Indies pacer Oshane Thomas wants to be counted among greats and knows that Test cricket is the route he needs to follow to realise his dream. Thomas was named in the 25-member squad for the England tour which begins on July 8.

The 23-year-old has so far represented West Indies in white-ball cricket after bursting onto the scene in 2018 but he is yet to play Tests. “I definitely want to play Test cricket; I want to do well in all three formats,” Thomas was quoted as saying by Jamaica Observer.

“Test cricket is really the ultimate that everyone wants to play to be great. You don’t want to just be an average cricketer; you want to be among the greats.”

Thomas earned a call-up in the Test squad during last year’s home series against England which West Indies won 2-1, but he didn’t get a game. “I didn’t get to make my debut, but hopefully [I will] this time around,” he said.

Besides 11 reserves, among whom Oshane is listed, West Indies announced a 14-man squad to tour England next week for the proposed three-Test series which will be held behind closed doors in a bio-secure environment to reduce the risk of transmission of the coronavirus. Thomas said he received some words of encouragement from West Indies head coach Phil Simmons.

‘Want to learn’

“Coach Phil [and I], we always have a talk. He says I can’t be bowling that fast - probably bowling the fastest in the Caribbean - and not play in his Test team,” said the Jamaican.

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“I just want to relax, bowl, put the ball in the right areas and let the ball do the work. Even if I’m not playing I’ll be training and keeping my fitness up. If I’m not playing I want to learn as much as a can.”

Thomas was in good nick before the coronavirus pandemic forced a cricket shutdown across the globe. The towering pacer claimed a five-wicket haul in the first T20I as West Indies blanked host Sri Lanka 2-0 in early March.

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“Coming back from the Sri Lanka tour — a good series [and taking] a five-wicket haul and then the pandemic just came into play and no cricket. Last week is my first week back bowling on a pitch. I had been doing some little bowling here and there. I’m very happy to be back bowling and I’m looking forward to playing Test cricket. It’s just up to me as a person; I just need to be fit and ready, and I should be in the Test team,” he said.

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