Roach itching to get back in time for Kiwi Tests

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West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach, recovered from injury, is champing at the bit to get back in the middle and hopes he will be picked for the Test series against New Zealand at home next month.

West Indies fast bowler Kemar Roach, recovered from injury, is champing at the bit to get back in the middle and hopes he will be picked for the Test series against New Zealand at home next month.

The paceman has been out of action for almost a year, having undergone shoulder surgery in November and sidelined for months before that. But he's been working hard and is eager to get back on the park.

Roach told the Barbados Cricket Association (BCA) website: "I have really missed playing. Seven months out of cricket is a long time and now I am at the point where I can play again, I want to be able to represent Maple, Barbados and West Indies.

"I am very confident that once I get some more sessions in and some strength work, I will be raring to go for the first Test against New Zealand, if selected."

He added: "I had three months of strenuous therapy with Dr. Jacqueline King and Marita Marshall. It was tough because the shoulder was very weak but they did a great job along with Shannon Lashley (trainer) in getting me back strong again.

"After a surgery like this it is not going to be a hundred percent but I am definitely fit enough to play any length of cricket, whether it be a Test, four-day, one-day or a T20 match."

Roach has been working with a team of former players to get back into shape, including Vasbert Drakes, Corey Collymore and national coach Ottis Gibson, and he's been training with club side Maples in order to get his match fitness back.

He explained: "I was working with Vasbert and also had some sessions with Ottis. I was in the gym earlier in the year and then the bowling aspect of it started in April. It was basic stuff as in the rotation of the arm and the fundamentals of fast bowling.

"I practised with Maple the entire week before the game on Saturday. I was working with Corey and he helped me to get my technique back and some basic stuff about bowling.

"Corey watched me bowl on Saturday. He gave me some pointers on what he thought about my bowling and he told me about a few flaws that can be worked on in the next couple of weeks. It was a happy atmosphere and a very relaxed environment."

As for the team's prospects against the Kiwis, Roach felt they would be a different side to face at home, and would have added motivation in wanting to do well for new skipper Denesh Ramdin.

He said: "After our Test series against New Zealand in New Zealand in December when we were beaten 2-0, I think this one is going to be very intense because the last time they came to the Caribbean two years ago we won both Tests.

"With a new captain in Denesh Ramdin, I think the guys can put in some good performances and win this series."

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