Dream debut is an understatement for Shamar Joseph, who put up a strong hand on day one of his debut Test in Adelaide. Shamar’s story from a small village in Baracara to Adelaide is an inspirational story of its own, with the right-arm speedster becoming the first international player to emerge out of the village.
On his debut, Joseph scored an eventful 36, including a six off Josh Hazlewood’s bowling. If that wasn’t enough, the right-arm speedster became only the second West Indian bowler to pick up a wicket off his first ball. If it was any other wicket, it wouldn’t have been a headlining act. But Joseph picked up Steve Smith, which made his debut even more special.
"Getting Steve Smith, I'll remember this for the rest of my life," Shamar Joseph said after the first day's play. "I'll actually take a picture, and post it up in my house."
"I didn't know it was Steve Smith," he said. "That went well for me. I went with a positive mindset. You're coming up against the best team in Test cricket. So I just come with a positive mindset and do what I do best."
But the youngster did not have the best of starts with the ball in hand when he missed his run-up. Joseph looked back at the event, stating that he was just very ‘nervous’.
"I didn't miss my run-up; I was just nervous. So I just went and built in my mind to get the first ball right - just on top of off stump. I [had] watched back a few Test matches of Steve Smith, and I think that is an area of weakness for him,” Joseph said.
“So I just say that I will just hit the top of off because he's a batter that triggers across a lot; he tries to take you off of your line. So I just stuck to the basic, hit just on top of off, getting a little movement away, and got the edge."
After the wicket, the youngster wheeled away in celebration towards the Eastern stands.
"If I could have run over [the stands], I would have. It was really a joy for me,” he added.
Joseph’s journey from humble beginnings to the highest level - international cricket - is quite a fascinating one. Growing up in Baracara, a village that is remote from the main islands, the journey was quite a tough one, and the speedster revealed the details of his journey.
"It wasn't financially stable, but you never miss a meal a day because you go fishing, [and] you plant your greens. So starvation wasn't on our list. But you have to work to maintain yourself and your family. So growing up in Baracara, it's a beautiful place. You will never suffer in Baracara because there's always an easy life to make up there,” he added.
With a population of just 350, Baracara wasn’t on the world map before Joseph made it big from the islands, and the speedster insisted that the entire village would have been up watching him bowl in the first Test against Australia.
"I know the support up there is really lovely and amazing for me. I could actually feel it from here. I want to do so much for Baracara. It might not happen when I want it to. But I know in the future I will go up there and do a lot for them because they always support me. People support you a lot, and encourage you to keep going, [and] to do what you love. And those words of encouragement is amazing for me and my career moving forward."