Four named in WI 13
COMEBACK QUARTET Chris Gayle, Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor and Sulieman Benn were yesterday named in the West Indies’ 13-man squad for the first cricket Test match against New Zealand starting at Sabina Park in Jamaica on Sunday.
But all-rounder Dwayne Bravo, who had been earmarked for a return to the Test arena for the first time in four years following the stripping of Darren Sammy as Test captain and his subsequent retirement from that format, was ruled out of consideration due to the injury.
Bravo hurt his shoulder attempting to take a catch in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and in its release, the West indies Cricket Board (WICB), said he had returned to Trinidad to continue his rehabilitation.
Gayle, who is recuperating from a back injury, joined the Windies’ preparatory camp at the 3Ws Oval over the weekend. He had a batting session in the indoor nets and participated in a catching exercise during the tea interval of a practice match yesterday between the West Indies and a combined Barbados/CCC XI.
There is still uncertainty about whether he will take his place in the starting 11 before his home crowd for what will be his 100th Test, as Barbadian Kraigg Brathwaite, who was summoned to the camp as cover for him, is also in the squad as well as another opener Kieran Powell.
Both Roach and Taylor, two right-arm fast bowlers, are making a return to international cricket after recovering from injuries.
Roach, who has a solid record of 85 wickets in 23 Tests at an average of 27.71, was out for a year due to a troublesome shoulder. The injury forced him to withdraw from the two-Test series in India after he had travelled to the sub-continent with the regional side.
Taylor, who has not played Test cricket since the tour of Australia in 2009, played the entire first-class season for Jamaica this year after a combination of injury and a self-imposed break. He has captured 82 wickets in 29 Tests at 35.64 runs apiece.
Off-spinner Shillingford, who was suspended for an illegal bowling action during last December’s ill-fated tour of New Zealand which the Windies lost 2-0, was subsequently cleared to bowl again in international cricket earlier this year following remedial work but he cannot bowl the doosra.
With off-spinner Sunil Narine disqualified from selection after missing the deadline to attend the pre-series camp when he opted to play in the IPL, Benn, a lanky left-arm spinner, gets a belated recall.
He played the last of his 17 Tests in which he has taken 51 wickets at an average of 41.41 on the 2010 tour of Sri Lanka.
Denesh Ramdin’s elevation as skipper will see the West Indies having a new Test captain for the first since 2010. the recently retired Sammy led the regional outfit for their last 30 consecutive matches.
The other members of the side are batsmen Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Marlon Samuels, Darren Bravo and Kirk Edwards, plus pacer Shannon Gabriel.
SQUAD: Denesh Ramdin (captain), Sulieman Benn, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kirk Edwards, Shannon Gabriel, Chris Gayle, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Shane Shillingford, Jerome Taylor.