West Indies pacer Oshane Thomas wants to be counted among the greats and knows that Test cricket is the route he needs to follow to realise his dream.
Thomas was named as a reserve player in West Indies’ 25-member squad for the England tour.
The 23-year-old has so far represented West Indies in white-ball cricket after bursting onto the scene in 2018 but he is yet to play in the longest format.
“I definitely want to play Test cricket; I want to do well in all three formats,” Thomas, who has played 20 ODIs and 12 T20Is for West Indies so far, was quoted as saying by Jamaica Observer.
“Test cricket is really the ultimate that everyone wants to play to be great. You don’t want to just be an average cricketer; you want to be among the greats.”
Thomas had earned a call-up in the Test squad during last year’s home series against England which West Indies won 2-1 but the youngster didn’t get a game. “I didn’t get to make my debut, but hopefully (I will) this time around,” he said.
Besides the 11 reserves, West Indies have announced a 14-man squad to tour England next week for the proposed three-Test series which will be held behind closed doors in a bio-secure environment to reduce the risk of transmission of the coronavirus.
Thomas said he has received some words of encouragement from West Indies head coach Phil Simmons.
“Coach Phil (and I), we always have a talk. He says I can’t be bowling that fast – probably bowling the fastest in the Caribbean – and not play in his Test team,” said the Jamaican, who has so far taken 27 wickets in 20 ODIs and 15 wickets in 12 T20Is.
“I just want to relax, bowl, put the ball in the right areas and let the ball do the work. Even if I’m not playing I’ll be training and keeping my fitness up. If I’m not playing I want to learn as much as I can.”
Thomas was in good form before the coronavirus pandemic forced a cricket shutdown across the globe. The towering pacer had claimed a five-wicket haul in the first T20I as West Indies blanked hosts Sri Lanka 2-0 in early March.
“Coming back from the Sri Lanka tour – a good series (and taking) a five-wicket haul and then the pandemic just came into play and no cricket. Last week was my first week back bowling on a pitch. I had been doing some little bowling here and there. I’m very happy to be back bowling and I’m looking forward to playing Test cricket. It’s just up to me as a person, I just need to be fit and ready and I should be in the Test team,” he said.
Thomas had escaped serious injuries when he met with an accident in February this year.