All-rounder Odean Smith retains his place in the side after a bizarre incident last week, as West Indies name an unchanged 16 for their three-match away T20 international series against India next month. West Indies are currently level on 2-2 against England at home with the final T20 encounter on Monday. (More Cricket News)
Cricket West Indies (CWI) has already announced their squad for the three-match ODI series against India earlier this week. Ahmedabad will host the ODIs on February 6, 9 and 11. The three T20 internationals are scheduled for February 16, 18 and 20 at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata.
Keiron Pollard will lead the side in both formats while Nicolas Pooran will be his deputy. Smith was involved in a controversy last week after it was reported that the 25-year-old claimed of being victimised following his ouster from the side in the third game against England.
The claims were duly quashed by head coach Phil Simmons and Cricket West Indies president Ricky Skerritt. The West Indies tour of India is also the first assignment for new chief selector Desmond Haynes.
“The team has been doing well in the T20I Series against England in Barbados and we decided to stick with the same group of players. They have demonstrated great skill and fight and we expect the same kind of performances on the tour of Indi,” Haynes said in a media release shared by CWI.
Meanwhile, Shimron Hetmyer and Evin Lewis have been left out for their respective reasons although Simmons suggested both the players are very much in West Indies’ future plans. While Hetmyer is out on fitness grounds, Lewis is yet to return to competitive cricket after testing positive for COVID-19 ahead of Ireland series.
Hetmyer is currently playing in the Pakistan Super League 2022 for the Quetta Gladiators squad. Haynes, a former captain, was also impressed by Rovman Powell and Akeal Hosein. Powell in particular caught everyone’s attention when he smashed the England bowlers for a 51-ball hundred in West Indies’ win in the third T20 game, which included 10 monstrous sixes.
Hosein, a left-arm finger-spinner, stepped up when his team needed with a 16-ball 44 batting at No.10, as West Indies nearly pulled off a memorable victory in the second game before losing by a single run.
“I liked the innings that Powell played - I think that was fantastic. Here was a guy who struggled to play spin, I was told, and then he came in and the first shot (with which) he got off the mark was a sweep for six,” Haynes was quoted as saying.
“I was also very impressed with Akeal in that one run-defeat. He came in there and everybody thought it was over. He played exceptionally well and that’s what you want because in T20 cricket you want the guy batting up to No.11 to be able to hit a six,” added Haynes.
T20I Squad: Kieron Pollard (C), Nicholas Pooran, Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Dominic Drakes, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Brandon King, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Kyle Mayers, Hayden Walsh Jr