Mon | Dec 11, 2023

Series win a ‘fresh start’, says Joseph

Published:Friday | March 31, 2023 | 1:26 AM
Alzarri Joseph.
Alzarri Joseph.


Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph believes the recent Twenty20 International series win for West Indies represents a “fresh start” in the wake of last year’s disastrous World Cup campaign.

The Caribbean side beat the Proteas by seven runs in Tuesday’s final game at the Wanderers here to take the three-match series 2-1 and log their first series win over the hosts in nearly a decade.

And Joseph said the T20 unit was focussed on reinventing itself under new captain Rovman Powell.

“It’s a fresh start under a new captain, so we’re just trying to build a team and give everyone the confidence to go out and be themselves, play their game, and not think about if they’re going to be in the team for the next tour or not,” said Joseph.

“So I think we’re going down a good path, giving everyone the confidence and allowing them to be themselves.”

He continued: “We have full confidence in every player. You won’t always do well, but as long as you give your hundred per cent to the team, that’s the best thing you can hope for. “

The two teams split the doubleheader in Centurion last week, leaving the third game as the series decider. And after West Indies posted a more than competitive 220, Joseph snatched his first-ever five-wicket haul in the format to take his side over the line and earn Man-of-the-Match honours.

More significantly, he picked up three wickets in the penultimate over, with Proteas requiring 35 runs for victory from the last 12 balls of the contest.

“I can’t necessarily pinpoint where we won the game, but there were key moments in the game where we got some really good momentum,” Joseph pointed out.

“In the power-play, Sheldon (Cottrell) and Roston (Chase) started good for us, and that gave me an opportunity to come and get the wicket of Quinton de Kock, and that probably set them back a bit.

“But at the end it was just about keeping it simple – not thinking too much, not trying to do too much. [I was] trying not to be predictable while keeping it simple.”

Joseph finished the tour as the leading wicket-taker in all formats for the visitors after claiming 12 wickets at 18 runs apiece in the two-Test series and six wickets from two matches in the three-match ODI series.

And while results for West Indies were below par, Joseph said the experience was a vital one for him.

“I would say it was a fairly good tour for me in all formats. Having that experience of playing here in the SAT20 [earlier this year] really helped me along the way. I would say for me it’s been a really good experience,” said the 26-year-old.