Windies make alterations
West Indies have rung the changes for the three-match Investec Test series against England, starting on May 17.
Three players involved in the rubber against Australia completed today - opener Kraigg Brathwaite, spinner Devendra Bishoo and wicketkeeper Carlton Baugh - have been omitted from the 15-man squad.
Denesh Ramdin replaces Baugh behind the stumps, uncapped batsman Assad Fudadin makes the cut ahead of Brathwaite and rookie Shannon Gabriel has been selected as one of four frontline seamers.
Shane Shillingford, so impressive in his comeback series against Australia, is the only specialist spinner following Bishoo’s demotion to the ‘A’ side, but is complimented by recalled all-rounder Marlon Samuels.
Samuels missed the Australia series after opting to play for Pune Warriors in the Indian Premier League, but has been welcomed back into the fold; he will join the tourists before the end of the Twenty20 tournament.
Former captain Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine are also on IPL duty and have not been selected.
But Gayle’s long-running dispute with the West Indies Cricket Board is reportedly on the verge of settlement and he - along with Russell, Bravo, Narine and short-form specialist Kieron Pollard - could all be involved in the limited-overs series later in the summer.
Commenting on the changes, Clyde Butts, chairman of the WICB selection panel, said: “We are going to England early in the season, where the conditions tend to favour the quick bowlers more than the spinners.
“Young Gabriel continues to impress the selectors in both regional and A team cricket, and we field it is a good time to introduce him to the team. We feel he will be an asset to the team in England and has a bright future in West Indies cricket.
“Bishoo has done well for West Indies in the last year or so, but he has lost some of his confidence and the selectors feel playing him in the A team will give him the chance to regain that confidence.
“We also feel this way about Kraigg Brathwaite. He, too, has lost some of his conviction and the selectors also feel playing him in the 'A' team against India A will give him the chance to regain that confidence.
“Baugh has been good behind the stumps, but his batting has not quite lived up to expectations, hence the selection of Ramdin. Before he got injured in the camp prior to the series against Australia, Denesh was showing good form both behind the stumps and with the bat.
“Marlon since his return to the team has not done badly for us and the selectors feel that he is an asset to the team. He had asked to miss the Australia matches for a stint at IPL.”
Kirk Edwards, out injured for the last two Tests, is back as skipper Darren Sammy’s deputy.
West Indies squad: Darren Sammy (captain), Kirk Edwards (vice-captain), Adrian Barath, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Fidel Edwards, Assad Fudadin, Shannon Gabriel, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Denesh Ramdin (wicketkeeper), Ravi Rampaul, Marlon Samuels, Shane Shillingford.