IN top form and brimming with confidence, West Indies left-handed orthodox bowler Akeal Hosein just might have something up his sleeves in the ODI decider against Australia on Monday.
Speaking with media on the eve of the third match, Hosein said he is satisfied with his all-around training efforts and spared time to work on uncommon bowling techniques.
“The three facets are up to par,” he said, “in terms of batting, bowling, fielding, and just working on a few new (bowling) deliveries.”
Hosein and West Indies play a tie-breaker thanks to the team’s four-wicket victory over Australia in the second One Day International (ODI) on Saturday, spurred on by Hosein’s heroic effort of three wickets in six deliveries, and Jason Holder and Nicholas Pooran’s crucial half-centuries.
West Indies fans will be hoping for the same and maybe some more, which is why Hosein said he continues to work on “mixing up” his techniques and even introducing even more uncommon deliveries in the future.
“I have to make sure that you create some sort of doubt in the batsmen’s mind,” Hosein said.
“In international cricket, I don’t think putting the ball on a spot is going to do enough. They’re quite capable of just knocking you around and picking you off easily. It’s definitely something I’m working on.”
But more specifically, he said he now practises some more of the techniques he used earlier in his youth career.
“I actually used to bowl chinaman when I was younger. Coming through the ranks of Trinidad under-19, under-17, under-15, I bowled chinaman.”
The technique, essentially left-arm left-spin, is only executed successfully by “a rare breed” some experts say, requiring finesse and composure.
“I have bowled a couple in the nets,” Hosein said.
“In the last tour against South Africa, I bowled a couple in the nets to the boys. I don’t think it’s something I’d be bowling consistently but it’s something I’m working on as a change-up delivery.
Apart from unpredictable deliveries, Hosein said and the team intends on “sticking to the plan,” and allowing partnerships will build.
On his current form, he said, “I think having a level head (contributed to a good start to the series). I didn’t have the best start to my T20 career but I kept believing in myself, being positive and putting in the hard work and it’s about grasping the opportunities. Going out there with a clear mind, a free mind, and putting it all out there on the park.
Having not defeated Australia in a bilateral series for over 25 years, Hosein said a win would be special in terms of breaking a generational curse.
“There won’t be a greater feeling, so to speak, for a youngster to come in an break the jynx of a record that’s been (haunting) us for quite some time. It was something special when we defeated them in the T20 series and it will be another special feeling for me to be in the team and get us over the line, and do it for the region.”
The 28-year-old was first named in West Indies’ ODI squad last December for the series against Bangladesh, and made his ODI debut for the West Indies, against the same team on January 20. 2021.