JAYDEN Seales was shocked after receiving the call saying he had been selected as a reserve for the upcoming West Indies two-match Test series against New Zealand that bowls off on December 3 in New Zealand.
Seales, 19, is yet to play a First-Class match, but had an impressive showing at the ICC Under-19 2020 50-over World Cup early this year that had many speaking about his fast-bowling ability. Former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop, who was a commentator during the Under-19 World Cup, said during the tournament that Seales should be included in the senior set-up.
Trinidadian Seales is among six reserves who will travel to New Zealand at the end of October with a 15-man Test squad captained by Jason Holder. Joining Seales are fellow Trinidadian Joshua Da Silva, Jamaican Nkrumah Bonner, Grenadian Preston McSween and Barbadian pair Shayne Moseley and Raymon Reifer.
Seales will get the opportunity to train alongside the experienced fast-bowling pair of Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel on tour. The other fast bowlers making the trip are Chemar Holder, Alzarri Joseph and McSween (reserve).
In an interview with Newsday on Saturday, Seales said, “I was really shocked when I heard the news. During CPL (Caribbean Premier League) there were talks that I was performing in CPL (and) I had a good World Cup so (there were) possibilities that I might go…it was the last thing in my mind. I was just playing my cricket and then after CPL I got the phone call. I was very happy, but shocked.”
Seales grabbed eight wickets in six matches for the Trinbago Knight Riders in the 2020 Hero CPL, held in Trinidad from August 18-September 10. Seales was not expecting the call-up because he has not played any First-Class cricket yet.
“It so happened that they chose to carry me as a reserve and as they say I am going as a developmental player just to learn more, understand my game a little more…very happy for the opportunity.”
Seales is eager to return with a “wealth of experience.”
The teenager is willing to learn from seasoned campaigners Gabriel and Roach, who have 345 Test wickets between them.
“For me, it is just to listen to how they speak about certain things and watch how they carry about themselves, whether it be in training, recovery (and) during a game. Just to see how they operate and their way of thinking, and just learn from it as much as possible.”
Seales also has goals for the upcoming 2021 West Indies Four-Day Championship, where he is expected to feature.
He is aiming to end the campaign with 30 wickets if the tournament is played in its entirety. Each of the six teams normally plays ten matches, but the tournament is still uncertain because of the covid19 pandemic.
Seales is part of a young exciting fast-bowling crop in the region currently, with the likes of Joseph and Chemar also showing promise.
“I think the quality of fast bowling drastically improved not only because of the pace that we acquire, but the control that we have and we can swing the ball in any conditions and the aggression. I think the fast bowling in the Caribbean is definitely on the rise and that is something definitely exciting for myself and I know for the fans as well.”