Alzarri Joseph poses with the Test cap before the start of play on Day One © AFP
Alzarri Joseph poses with the Test cap before the start of play on Day One © AFP

Walt Disney, the creator of Disneyland, once said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Almost 50 years after his death, a young tall fast bowler, from West Indies, seeks to walk on the path of pursuing his dream. At 19 years of age, Lionel Messi, the Argentine superstar had scored a freak solo goal for his football club, Barcelona against Getafe, fleeing (he is known as ‘The Flee’) past six defenders one after the other, from the half-way line, then beating the goalkeeper with an outragious chip. That goal had the Camp Nou acknowledging the 19-year-old with a standing ovation. At the same age, Joseph has already had an Under-19 championship under his belt, has played for his country, and has lately claimed India’s No.1 batsman, Virat Kohli as his first international victim. FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs West Indies 2016, 3rd Test at St Lucia

Joseph with his 13 wickets at an average of 13.76 was the joint-third highest wicket-taker for the West Indies in the Under-19 World Cup. He bowled the fastest ball in the tournament too then, recorded at 143kph. He made his mark right then and there, with his contributions as the West Indies emerged champions. Ian Bishop had wanted him to be brought to the Test squad, and why not, he had been highly promising.

Soon a video emerged of him bowling in the nets, to Australian batsmen, much like how in the movie Warrior, a video emerged of Tom Riordan (Tom Hardy) ripping apart the door of a tank, yes tank, just before the MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) tournament was about to start. Joseph, bowled with express pace, banged in ‘beautiful’ yorkers, as Justin Langer calls them, one even making a Aussie batsman fall to the ground. A way-too-impressed Langer then asks almost spontaneously, ‘Come play for the (Perth) Scorchers, BBL?’. “The talent is very obvious,” he said.

 

When Joseph found Kohli’s edge on Day One at St Lucia, with a ball banged in short, surprising him with extra bounce perhaps, and making the Indian captain look a bit uncomfortable and ugly (which he doesn’t ever look like), Joseph created ripples everywhere, from the commentary box in Gros Islet to the noisy radios in India.

He did not stop there though, he shaped Rohit Sharma, who had been given a place for Cheteshwar Pujara. Rohit poked at a outswinging delivery, that looked as if it was angled-in. He played at it despite the ball being far away from the off stump line, and paid the price. Joseph had two wickets.

While the comparison between Messi and Joseph, might be irrelevant, the latter has surely took off to dream start to his career. If he can sustain the same desire, intensity and pace, he might be on the road to achieving another big dream soon. And most importantly, West Indies cricket, which has perhaps found an able bowling attack, with Shannon Gabriel and Joseph might find a reliable strike bowling pair.

However, from what we know, Joseph is surely much more than a talent to watch out for. There are surely big things in store for the 19-year-old.

(Karan Dewana reporter with CricketCountry, loves following and playing sports. He is a Team India fan and loves winning. Follow him on his twitter handle @karan13dewan)