A Doubtful Morning
On Sunday morning, January 28, the outlook seemed bleak for Shamar Joseph. A yorker from Mitchell Starc on Day 3 had prematurely ended his batting and cast a shadow over his participation in the remainder of the day-night Test in Brisbane. Limping off the field, he had almost given up, contemplating not even making it to the Gabba on the fourth morning due to his injury.
The Turning Point
However, Shamar’s fortunes took a spectacular turn as he delivered a career-best performance, claiming 7-68 to bowl West Indies to a drought-ending eight-run victory over the hosts Australia. The miraculous turnaround was made possible, in part, by the team doctor’s intervention.
“I must give a shout-out to the doctor,” Shamar exclaimed, acknowledging the pivotal role played by the team doctor. “He told me to come to the ground for a reason, even if it’s just to support the guys. But I came, and he did something to my toe. I don’t know what he did, but something worked.”
A Positive Outlook and Team Support
Shamar expressed his gratitude for the encouragement from his teammates, emphasizing the power of positivity. Facing a target of 156 at the start of the day, Shamar picked up seven of the eight wickets Australia lost in a little over a session, triggering a collapse of 4 for 23 before Dinner. Despite Steve Smith’s unbeaten 91, Australia failed to recover from the onslaught.
“It was just [about being] positive. That’s all. [My teammates] said just go out there and do it – take wickets,” Shamar explained. “I am not that tired because I wanted to do this for my team. I told my skipper I would bowl to the end until the last wicket falls. It doesn’t matter how my toes are, I’m okay. I did it for him, and I am happy that he is proud of me now.”
Historic Win and Emotional Moments
This victory marked West Indies’ first Test win against Australia since 2003, their first at Gabba since 1968. The emotional 24-year-old thanked his teammates for their support, expressing his overwhelming joy.
“I feel like we won the series. Even though it’s 1-1, I feel like we won the entire series,” Shamar said. “Tears came to my eyes right now. I already cried during my five-wicket haul [in the first Test]. It’s just happiness. That’s the emotion I can bring out right now. Just happy that we won the Test.”
Shamar Joseph has emerged as the find of the series for West Indies, with a fifer on debut in Adelaide last week and a total of 13 Test scalps in just his debut series. His remarkable performance has not only secured a historic win but has also set the tone for a promising future in West Indies cricket.