His quality has been long evident. He is now 30, with 22 Tests to his name. But for injury and a rebellious temperament he would have had many more. He was suspended for disciplinary reasons following the 1995 tour of England and left out of the team for a year. He returned for the tour of Australia last season but broke down after three Tests and has only now returned.
Yesterday he was comfortably the West Indies' most impressive bowler, and his spell of 10 demanding overs after lunch deserved more than a solitary wicket.
Benjamin needed three overs in the first session to get rid of the cobwebs and settle his nerves. After all this was his first Test in more than a year. Once he had switched ends, with the pavilion at his back, he found his rhythm from his ungainly, but strong run-up and action.
He earned his reinstatement on the same ground for the Leeward Islands against Trinidad in a President's Cup match three weeks ago. It was played on a more heavily grassed pitch than yesterday's and he collected eight wickets for 57. It was enough for Brian Lara, on the opposite and beaten side, to convince his fellow selectors that Benjamin was their man.Reuse content