Windies drop Samuels, Powell
WEST INDIES HAVE DROPPED allrounder Marlon Samuels and opener Kieran Powell from their squad for the second Test against New Zealand in Trinidad, and replaced them with uncapped batsman Jermaine Blackwood and Leon Johnson.
Blackwood, a 22-year old from Jamaica, has played 16 first-class matches and averages 40.38, with three hundreds and six half-centuries. He scored two centuries for the High Performance team in recent matches against Bangladesh “A”. Blackwood also scored 94 and 118 in the final of the 2014 Regional Four-Day competition against Windward Islands.
Johnson, 26, played three ODIs for West Indies in 2008 against Bermuda and Canada, but hasn’t appeared in an international since then. The Guyana batsman scored three half-centuries in the two matches against Bangladesh “A”. Johnson averages 33 after playing 50 first-class games.
Samuels was dropped after he made a pair in West Indies’ 186-run defeat in the first Test at Sabina Park. He was dismissed second ball both times, and has only three scores above 20 in his last 12 innings.
Powell made 28 and nought in Jamaica, and has consistently failed to convert his starts for a while now. He passed 20 in eight of his last 15 innings but has a high score of 48 in that period.
The second Test against New Zealand begins at Queen’s Park Oval on Monday.
SQUAD: Denesh Ramdin (Captain), Sulieman Benn, Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kirk Edwards, Shannon Gabriel, Chris Gayle, Jason Holder, Leon Johnson, Shane Shillingford, Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor. (ESPNCricinfo)