It's seldom we see players make a remarkable comeback to sports and the ones who do that make sure they enter their name into the history books. Not many would have heard of the name Blackwood until the spectacular knock that won West Indies the epic encounter against England.Though the score of 95 may not look that intimidating at this level,it's the conditions in which he played the knock that made the headlines.
It was the first test of the West Indies tour of England where the Jamaican announced his arrival. The test was considered special because it was the first match to be played post lockdown.
West Indies were reduced to 27-3 in the chase of 200.While the top order stumbled the hopes of Windies ending up on the winning side was diminished. But the 28-year old had other plans in mind. He partnered with the lower-middle order to get the Indies home. The pitch was deteriorating and looked like a win for the English team was undeniable but the innings proved too costly for England.
He was dismissed cheaply in the first innings as he fell prey for greed, but the second innings was a completely different story as he showed a high level of maturity and also showed glimpses of what could be a second coming. Having played the last match in 2017 that too as a substitute, it was remarkable to play such an innings under pressure. His innings included 12 fours and showed he could play strokes too.
"He knew what he had done and he knew he's a far better player than what he did within the first innings. So there was no need to talk to him," said captain Jason Holder later. "I thought he was a really crucial guy during this run chase. Him, probably John Campbell, when these guys get going they score relatively quickly. I just said to Jermaine 'look, just give yourself an opportunity , see a couple of balls then play your game. If you see a ball in your arc and if you are feeling you'll put it away, then put it away.' that is the way he plays." For Holder, Blackwood's recent first-class record was not something West Indies could ignore - even if Shimron Hetmyer and Darren Bravo were available for this series added the West Indies captain.
Winning the toss the English team opted to bat first and managed to score only 204 runs in reply West Indies scored 318 in their first innings. The second Innings saw a better performance by the England team,thanks to the half centuries by Sibley and Zak Crawley. The score of 313 gave West Indies a tough ask of 200 runs to score to win the game as the pitch was deteriorating and the bowlers were having a good time. With the Excellence of Blackwood,the Windies ended up on the winning side by 4 wickets.
Jermaine Blackwood has represented West Indies in 29 tests scoring 1469 runs at an average of 31.26 with a century and 11 fifties to his name. He has a high score of 112 in tests. He hasn't been able to create an impact in limited-overs cricket having just 2 games to his name.
With his high level of maturity and stability it is just a matter of time the Jamaican cements his place in the West Indies team.
Cover Credits : SportsKeeda