Jayden Seales announced himself on the world stage in Jamaica, becoming the youngest West Indies bowler to take a Test match five-for in a memorable one-wicket victory over Pakistan. Seales, who first caught global attention at the 2020 Under-19 World Cup, is a player worth keeping an eye on, writes Mike Vince.

Sign up to The Cricket Draft, powered by Wisden, an all-new, free-to-play fantasy game running alongside The Hundred, to win prizes and compete with your friends.

“This kid is ready to be in and around the senior set up right now,” said Ian Bishop in 2020, months after Seales’ 18th birthday.

Kemar Roach scored the winning runs as West Indies beat Pakistan in a thrilling chase on Sunday night. Roach’s understudy, Jayden Seales, was at the crease alongside him as he struck the winning runs, having taken eight wickets in the match to set up an exciting finale.

But who is Jayden Seales? And why are so many pinning so much hope on his impressive young shoulders?

Trinidad-born Seales is a curious case, because of the impact of COVID-19, he has very limited first-class experience. At the time of writing, he has played just four first-class matches – three of which have come in Test cricket. This does not however, make his case to be one of world cricket’s premier young fast-bowling talents any less compelling.

After three Tests, Seales has 13 wickets at an average of 21 and a strike-rate south of 39 – this is not where the similarities to another tall fast bowler who had an electric start to their international career end. It was fitting then, that he made his Test debut against South Africa, going head-to-head with Kagiso Rabada.

Seales’ action, height, and bounce are very reminiscent of what made Rabada so thrilling when he burst onto the international scene. He is a touch taller than Rabada, and does not necessarily have the same pace that the South African can boast but his angle of release and his delivery stride can extract serious bounce from any pitch, as shown but his impressive trio of wickets on debut.

Of quicks to take 10 or more wickets before their 20th birthday this century , only Umar Gul, Mohammad Amir and Shaheen Afridi average fewer than 30 runs per wicket, already putting Seales in rare company.

At the 2020 Under-19 World Cup, none other than Ian Bishop was full of praise for his side’s breakout star. Bishop was gushing about the pace and control with which Seales bowled during the World Cup campaign, also citing his impressive “mental attributes.”

The only blot on his copybook so far has been his maiden Caribbean Premier League campaign, where he conceded his runs at 11 runs per over.

On his first Test wicket Seales said: “I was ecstatic…I didn’t really think about how I was gonna celebrate it.” It’s an answer that perhaps best exemplifies how his career has gone from no first-class experience to a Test match-winning performance in the space of four matches.

With Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel now 33, West Indies are looking for their next big fast bowling hope, someone who can partner the likes of Jason Holder and Alzarri Joseph in the years to come.

Alongside his mentor, with the backing and guidance of people such as Ian Bishop, Seales can make his limited experience but serious talent go a long, long way, featuring heavily for a West Indies side in need of a pillar to lean on.