When Kirk Edwards stroked his way to an exquisite debut Test ton in Dominica two years ago, what stood out markedly were his sinewy wrists. Mainly because they seemed uncharacteristic—almost of subcontinent-make—on an otherwise quintessential West Indian batsman who didn't mind driving balls on the rise and oozed with the typically unruffled air of the Caribbean.
Not to forget the composure, the ease and the way he used his wrists while getting the better of the likes of Harbhajan Singh. Edwards' impressive showing against quality spin continued as he piled on the runs when the West Indians toured India later that year, resulting in his promotion to the vice-captaincy of the Test team. Then came a spate of injuries and a run of bad form, and just like that the 28-year-old right-hander was out of the team and back to the oblivion of regional cricket back home.
The 18 months since his last international have been about regaining that impressive touch and Edwards had arrived in Bangalore on the back of a strong showing for Barbados last season. Unfortunately though he had failed to capitalize on two good starts in the one-dayers here. And looked intent on setting that record straight as he got going yet again at the Chinnaswamy Stadium on Thursday. Edwards was third-time lucky, notching up an aggressive and eye-catching 104, a knock that eventually led West Indies A to a series-clinching 45-run win against India A.
As always with Edwards, the best parts of his century came against the home team spinners and especially his runs that were scored through the on-side. He also used his feet exceedingly well, jumping out his crease at every opportunity presented by the likes of Baba Aparajith and Yusuf Pathan, launching both for a six each. Edwards was also quick to rock onto his back-foot and put away Yuvraj Singh's half-trackers for boundaries. He did not look as fluent against Shahbaz Nadeem, who turned out to be India A's best bowler with miserly figures of 2/33 but scored at a rapid rate against the other spinners.
For once, the Barbados stalwart had walked out