Former West Indies pacer Winston Benjamin, who worked with Alzarri Joseph when the pacer was young, believes that the speedster was handed his debut way too young. Benjamin also feels that the Windies, who were in dire need of pacers, picked Joseph based on sheer potential and not performance.
Despite setting the Indian Premier League (IPL) alight with all-time best figures, Alzarri Joseph has always been seen by many as a Test bowler and the towering quick from Antigua made his Test debut at just the age of 19. While he’s not set the stage on fire, Joseph has always come up with a timely reminder of his talent by producing breathtaking spells to rock back the opposition.
However, one person who is of the opinion that Joseph was handed his debut too early is former Windies pacer Winston Benjamin, who believes that the 22-year-old was picked in the team purely based on potential rather than performances.
“Let us face facts; when Alzarri got into the West Indies team we were in dire need of fast bowlers and he basically got in on his potential,” Benjamin told Antigua radio show Good Morning Jojo Sports Show.
“I worked with him from since he was 15 years old and I said I would like to have another two years with him and then by that time, you would have seen the difference,” he added.
Benjamin feels that Joseph was blooded into the team before he was a finished product and hence that has meant that the speedster has had to learn his trade whilst being at the top, unlike every other cricketer, who usually make their way to the top after experiencing the struggles in the lower levels.
“He’s here and he’s there, [and] our work was not completed, so he learns from the top [when] everybody else learns from the bottom up. Rabada and all those guys, their thing is structured where you have coaches for every meal of the day and every direction you turn,” he opined.
Benjamin represented the Windies in 21 Tests and 85 ODIs between 1987 and 1995, claiming 161 international wickets, before eventually hanging his boots in 1998.