West Indies have turned to experience with the recall on Tuesday of veteran duo Sunil Narine and Kieron Pollard for the first two T20Is against India next month. Explosive hitter Pollard was left out of the West Indies team for the recent 50-over World Cup and played his last T20 in India last November. Spinner Narine's last appearance in a T20I for West Indies came against England almost two years ago at Chester-le-Street. He opted out of the 50-over World Cup because of a finger injury.
"We felt that players like Narine and Pollard, who have played well in T20 leagues around the world, once they are fit and mentally ready to play, we must give them the opportunity to represent the West Indies again," said the interim chairman of selectors, Robert Haynes.
Wicketkeeper/batsman Anthony Bramble, who will understudy Nicholas Pooran, is the only newcomer in the 14-member squad which is captained by Carlos Brathwaite. Andre Russell, who is still recovering from a knee injury that saw him leave the World Cup early, also returns.
"This squad is an excellent balance of experience and youth," said Haynes. "It’s not just about the present -– the India tour of the West Indies –- but we are also looking at the T20 World Cup coming up next year and it is important that we find the right combination of players and the right formula for defending our title."
Veteran opening batsman Chris Gayle has chosen to play in the Canada GT20 instead, his place at the top of the order going to left-hander John Campbell. The first two T20s against India will take place on August 3 and 4 at the Broward County Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida, with the third to be held in Guyana. The two sides will also contest three ODIs and two Tests.
West Indies squad: Carlos Brathwaite (capt), Anthony Bramble (wk), John Campbell, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Sunil Narine, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas
Feature image courtesy: AFP / Jewel Samad