University of Sussex Students' Newspaper

Jayden Seales Interview: Pacer Sets Sights on Test Return

Will Symons

ByWill Symons

May 13, 2024

Jayden Seales is eying up a return to test cricket this summer, after a barnstorming start to life in Sussex. 

After he was forced to withdraw from a stint by the seaside last season, fast-bowler Seales returned to Hove last month, signing for the opening rounds of this season’s County Championship, and T20 Blast competitions. 

Making an immediate impact, the hulking Trinidadian stole the headlines with six wickets in a fiery first bow against Northamptonshire. 

Speaking before his debut, Seales seemed eager to make up for lost time. “I’m strong again, fit again and ready to go,” he told me. “It’s a bit cold, but as I expected, coming to England. I’m enjoying it, I’m enjoying being able to train out in the middle and get accustomed to the pitch here in Hove”. 

Now 22, Seales burst onto the scene as a teenager, becoming the youngest West Indian to take five wickets in an innings, in just his third appearance against Pakistan in 2021. 

Dismantling a shell-shocked Pakistan batting card, Seales took 5-55 with the world watching, guiding his side to a thrilling one-wicket win in Kingston. 

Three years on, the six-foot seamer has 37 wickets in ten test appearances – listing the likes of Ben Stokes, David Warner and Shakib Al-Hasan amongst his red-ball victims. And, despite his stellar start, Seales remains unfazed by his growing reputation.

“In cricket, there’s always pressure. In any sport, as a matter of fact, there’s always pressure. Yes, maybe there’s been a bit of added pressure, knowing that I have that little bit more expectation on me, seeing how I’ve done, but I don’t really try to study it anymore. I try to focus on my game, and improving myself, to be able to perform for the team when called upon”. 

After a breakthrough couple of years, Seales’ first major setback came in December of 2022, sustaining a knee injury in his first test on Australian soil. Proving troublesome, the injury kept Seales sidelined for the best part of a year, at the time he was due to feature for Sussex. 

“It was really frustrating”, Jayden explained. “To have the start that I had, and then get injured at a crucial time, especially in that tour of Australia, it hurt a lot. I was disappointed and frustrated. Then, getting fit again only to be plagued by another injury had me down a bit.”

Yet, after a lengthy rehabilitation period, Seales is back and firing in the whites, helping Sussex to their first win of the season with twin four-fer’s against Gloucestershire. 

Alongside Championship glory, Seales has another goal in mind – a return to the world stage on the West Indies tour of England this summer. 

“The test side. It’s obviously at the forefront of my mind, being able to get back in the test team is the number one focus for me right now. It’s just a matter of keeping myself fit and available for the team at all possible times.”

Should he continue his excellent run of form, Seales can expect a place in the West Indies side taking on England in a three-match test series, beginning on the 10th of July at Lords. 

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