Jomel Warrican was the best bowler from West Indies in Frank Worrell Trophy 2016 © Getty Images
Jomel Warrican was the best bowler from West Indies in Frank Worrell Trophy 2016 © Getty Images

Jomel Warrican, one of the most promising cricketers in West Indies squad right now, made his debut during the Sobers-Tissera Trophy 2015-16 against Sri Lanka. Within a limited number of appearances, he has already made his mark with his performance. His best stint so far has been during the Frank Worrell Trophy 2016 as the left-arm spinner was the most successful with the ball among his teammates. As India tour West Indies for a four-match Test series, Paulami Chakraborty talks to the cricketer in an exclusive interview about his early life, being a spinner, his performances and West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). Here are the excerpts from the interview:

CricketCountry (CC): At what age did you start playing cricket?

Jomel Warrican (JW): I started playing cricket at the age of seven. Played my first official cricket game at the age of 12.

CC: Who inspired you to play? Was it someone in your family?

JW: Well, basically my father had a very important role to play, but also my family and village (inspired me to go for it). My father always encouraged me to play cricket. He would throw the ball at me and then, from there, he bought me my first bat. He always liked cricket.

CC: How and when did you decide to become a spinner? What inspired you, given the West Indian legacy lies in fast bowling?

JW: Well, from a young age I have always bowled spin. It came naturally to me. Then it was my coach who pointed it out to my father that I can spin the ball very well and I should continue working on it.

CC: How are spinners groomed in the Caribbean?

JW: There is no proper structure of grooming spinners in the Caribbean, to be honest. It is most about skill. You will have to learn most things on your own.

CC: What was the first big achievement of your life in your First-Class career?

JW: Well, my biggest achievement for me personally is the first fifer ever which was in St Vincent. But my biggest accomplishment, talking about numbers, would be my two 8-wicket hauls.

CC: Talk us through your international debut. How did it feel? Were you looking forward to bowl at any specific batsman?

JW: Well, the nerves were there but I told myself that I just needed to relax and take it like any other game. I was looking forward to bowl to Angelo Mathews, knowing that he is Sri Lanka’s best batsman. It was an extremely good feeling.

CC: What about the series against Australia?

JW: Well, I knew Australia was always going to be a difficult tour for me because the conditions were not in my favour. My plan was to go down there, be as patient as possible and play the role that was required. I mostly played a defensive role which it required.

CC: Was there any particular batsman that you were looking to bowl to?

JW: I had the entire Australia batting line-up on my mind. I would say the six top-order batsmen.

CC: West Indies have had a very good time with victories in ICC World T20, its women’s counterpart and the Under-19 Cricket World Cup all in the same year. How does it feel?

JW: It felt good as a West Indian to win three cups. The year gave us all something to feel proud about.

CC: Do you see yourself only as a Test cricketer? Which is your most favourite format of the game?

JW: I see myself as someone who can play any format of the game. My most favourite format is the 50-overs one.

CC: Talking about the series against India, is there any particular player you are looking forward to and why?

JW: I am looking forward to see Ravichandran Ashwin, as he is the number one spinner right now.

CC: What about your all-time favourite spinners?

JW: Rangana Herath and Shane Warne.

CC: Cricketers whom you have idolised at a young age?

JW: I would say Chris Gayle, Shane Warne and Marlon Samuels.

CC: What do you like the most about them?

JW: I like how cool Chris and Marlon are and their style of batting which is aggressive. For Warne, it is the way he set up batmen.

CC: In the warm-up match against India, you dismissed Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane. What was your strategy behind?

JW: I just bowled with discipline and patient. I waited until the batsmen made their mistakes (and got them out).

CC: You also scored an unbeaten half-century in the match. Do you think you can do better if promoted up the order?

JW: No. I am happy with the position I am batting at. I want to be used at the lower-order…someone who can bring a change down the order.

CC: After the performance against India, were you disappointed not being given a place in the squad for the first Test?

JW: Well, I was already told I was not going to be in the first Test by the chairman of selection committee even before I played the practice game.

CC: Ok. But do you think it is justified after your performance against Australia?

JW: I do not think I should answer that.

CC: Do you follow IPL? Would you like to play in the league given a chance?

JW: Yes I do follow IPL. I wish to play in the league as well. I like the level of cricket and the excellent players it has in it.

(Paulami Chakraborty, a singer, dancer, artist, and photographer, loves the madness of cricket and writes about the game. She can be followed on Twitter at @Polotwitts)