West Indies lead selector, Desmond Haynes, insists fixing the squad’s issues at the top of the order will be a priority for the new panel.

The team’s struggles, particularly at the top of the order, have been well documented in recent times.  The issue of finding a consistent partner for team captain Kraigg Brathwaite is one of the primary concerns.

Over the last five years, Brathwaite, who has scored 2188 in 40 matches during that time, has been consistent but it has proven to be somewhat of a carousel in terms of finding an opening pairing with Kieron Powell, John Campbell, and Shai Hope all being trailed for the spot at various times.

In November, Jeremy Solozano was also set to be trialed in the position, against Sri Lanka, but did not get the opportunity after being struck on the helmet while fielding.  Ahead of the England series, Haynes and the selectors have decided to turn back to Campbell who was dropped from the team in June of last year.

The batsman has had a strong start to the West Indies Championship after scoring 213 runs in two matches so far.  Since 2019, Campbell has played 15 matches for the West Indies scoring 640 runs.

“There was good discussion regarding the opening.  That in itself is something we want to resolve shortly.  I think in all the good teams you find they have good opening batsmen so we are hoping to get our opening batsmen some confidence and make sure they can do the job for us,” Haynes told members of the media on Tuesday.

“I think we went with Campbell not just because he got the 100 but talking to the captain and him batting with Campbell in the games that he has played, we had a bit of success there,” he added.

“It was a bit unfortunate for Jeremy but we decided we would put him in the president’s XI’s game where the selectors could have another look at him because it was a bit unfortunate because after being struck on the head he didn’t get a chance to play in Sri Lanka.  

The Cricket West Indies (CWI) Selection Panel on Tuesday named the West Indies Men’s squad for the first Apex Test match against England, as well as the CWI President’s XI squad for the four-day warm-up match.

The first Apex Test will be played at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium from March 8-12, following the warm-up match at the Coolidge Cricket Ground (CCG) from March 1-4.

In the West Indies Test squad, there is a maiden call-up for fast bowler Anderson Phillip and a recall for opener John Campbell. Both players were impressive in the first two rounds of the current West Indies Championship, with 25-year-old Phillip from Trinidad & Tobago Red Force, taking 12 wickets at an average of 14.25 per wicket, with best figures of 5-82 against Jamaica Scorpions and 28-year-old Campbell from Jamaica Scorpions hitting 213 runs at an average of 53.25, including 127 against Barbados Pride.

The West Indies squad will assemble in Antigua from February 25 for a training camp ahead of the Apex Test Series.

Shane Dowrich, the experienced wicketkeeper/batsman has been named as captain of the CWI President’s XI with Raymon Reifer, the left-handed allrounder as the vice-captain.

“Anderson Phillip bowled extremely well and was very impressive in the first two rounds of the West Indies Championship and we decided to give him an opportunity in the Test squad to face England. He has been around the squad before in white-ball cricket, so he has some experience at the international level,” lead selector Desmond Haynes said.

“I expect us to be very competitive against England. This should be a very exciting series, with a lot of players who are out to make their mark. We have a squad that has some experienced players, as well as some exciting young players and we expect them to equip themselves well and do the job,” he added.

West Indies Test Squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood (Vice-Captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Joshua Da Silva, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Veerasammy Permaul, Anderson Phillip, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales

CWI President’s XI Squad: Shane Dowrich (Captain), Raymon Reifer (Vice-Captain), Colin Archibald, Alick Athanaze, Keacy Carty, Bryan Charles, Shermon Lewis, Preston McSween, Shayne Moseley, Jeremy Solozano, Shamar Springer, Devon Thomas

 

 

 

West Indies Captain Kieron Pollard is choosing to focus on the positives coming out of the Indian white-ball tour in which the Caribbean side was swept 3-0 in both the ODI and T20 series.

Speaking after the West Indies lost the final T20 by 17 runs on Sunday, Pollard said the tour was not a complete disaster.

 

“When you look at the games, it was definitely a close series but it just goes to show the fine line in international cricket in terms of the margins for error,” said Pollard.

“I thought the guys really put up their hands and gave a really good account of themselves so I don’t think we should feel disgraced by what has taken place.

"We’re not happy with losing but it is a work in progress. I’m very happy with the performances of some of the guys and we crack on. We have no international white-ball cricket for the next three months so we have time to find out what’s for the future.”

Among the players that Pollard was pleased with was his vice-captain Nicholas Pooran who starred with 184 runs in the three games.

“I thought Nicholas was outstanding. Three fifties in three games is fantastic for him and that’s the consistency that we ask for,” said Pollard.

Pollard’s Mumbai Indians teammate Suryakumar Yadav was India’s best batsman in the series with 107 runs in the three matches. The West Indies captain believes he is someone his batters should try to emulate.

“Surya is a world-class player. I’ve had the opportunity to play a lot of years with him so it’s great to see that he has grown well and is doing great things for himself and great things for India. He’s a 360-degree player and that’s something that our batsmen could try to emulate,” Pollard said.

An important part of a successful T20 outfit is laying out specific roles for specific players and Pollard, while being aware of this, says it’s also important to rotate to give others opportunities.

“I think everyone is clear in their role. Once you get an opportunity to play, you know your role so it’s about getting the experience and understanding what is needed at the international level. We’re not just chopping and changing for the sake of it, guys came in and had specific roles to play. We’re in a position where we have to give guys opportunities,” he said.

 The West Indies next white-ball assignment will a tour of the Netherlands in May-June where they will play three ODIs.

 

 

 

 

Suryakumar Yadav spearheaded an India flurry late in their innings to ensure Rohit Sharma's team secured a 17-run win over the West Indies in the final T20I.

Having already lost the series heading into the final match on Sunday, West Indies had their tails up when they had India on just 93-4 towards the end of the 14th over in Kolkata.

Ruturaj Gaikwad – one of four changes for the hosts – was dismissed early on, with Shreyas Iyer falling to Hayden Walsh (1-30) on 25, and Roston Chase (1-23) sending Ishan Kishan packing for 34.

Captain Rohit managed just seven, yet Yadav and Venkatesh Iyer combined to hit 86 in the final five overs to reach 184-5.

Yadav's brilliant knock was ended by Romario Shepherd (1-50) on 65 from just 31 balls, as Venkatesh Iyer finished unbeaten on 35.

Deepak Chahar (2-15) took two early wickets to immediately put the Windies on the back foot, only to pull up with an injury and be forced off.

Rovman Powell's 25 off 14 got the run rate up, but he fell in the seventh over, with captain Kieron Pollard (five) swiftly following.

Jason Holder (two) and Chase (12) also went in quick succession, though Nicholas Pooran (61) stayed in to give the Windies hope.

However, Shardul Thakur (2-33) undid the Windies opener in the 18th over, all but ending any lingering hopes.

Stunning late show from India pair

There was some sensational batting on show from Yadav and Venkatesh Iyer, who hit seven and two sixes respectively. They added 91 off 37 deliveries to put the game, truly, beyond the West Indies' reach.

With the ball, Harshal Patel took 3-22 to pick up the slack after Chahar's injury.

India on a roll

India have now won 13 T20Is against the West Indies, only against Sri Lanka (14) have they won more.

Indeed, they also extended their winning streak in the format to nine games, their longest such run in the format. They will go up against Sri Lanka in their next series.

West Indies batsman Rovman Powell believes a nice understanding at the crease is developing between himself and vice-captain Nicholas Pooran after putting together another strong partnership, albeit this time in a losing effort.

India wrapped up the three-match T20 series with an 8 run win over the West Indies, after setting a more than competitive 186 for 5 in the first innings.  Thanks to the efforts of Powell and Pooran, however, the team managed to get close to the score on the back of their 100-run partnership, in 60 balls.

It was the second time in just a few weeks the duo was combining to good effect.  Against England in the third T20 international, the duo combined for 122 for 67.  In fact, Pooran and Powell have been one of the most productive partnerships over the last four years, scoring 346 in 7 innings.

“Me and Pooran, from the last series, we have been developing a nice little bromance, a nice little partnership in a sense with him batting 3 and me batting four.  It’s important for us at that point, at that position, where we bat three and four to get partnerships,” Pooran told members of the media, following the match.

“We got another partnership of 100 plus today, it’s for us to take all the things we did right today and improve the stuff that needs to improve going forward.”

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard was encouraged by the batting unit’s approach to Friday’s T20 International against India, even if he was admittedly disappointed with the result.

The West Indies found themselves on the losing side of another series, after going down by 8 runs to India on Friday.  The result saw the South Asian team claim an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, after winning the opener by 7 wickets.

This time, however, in pursuit of a solid 186 for 5, the team went a lot closer to the target and was more comfortable in the run chase.  A 100-run partnership from Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell got the team close to India's score, and, in fact, until a miserly 18th over from Harshal Patel it seemed the West Indies were favourites to level the series.

According to the West Indies captain, while the team may have come up just short on runs, the approach was closer to what was required.

“I thought the partnership with him (Rovman Powell) and Pooran almost got us over the line.  Sometimes that’s all we are asking from the guys to bat as deep as possible and for me, I’m pleased, obviously not with the result but with the way they continue to aim for consistency,” he added.

The partnership was the fourth-highest between two Windies players since 2019, adding to an overall 306 scored in 6 matches, whenever the duo of Powell and Pooran has come together during that time.

“Nicholas got another half-century, Powell has gotten two in the last four games, so, we are making progress.”

Rohit Sharma praised India for a "phenomenal finish" as they halted the West Indies' chase on Friday to clinch the Twenty20 series and reach 100 wins in the format.

India won for an eighth consecutive T20I match, a new record for the nation, as they defeated the tourists by seven runs in Kolkata.

After Rohit and Ishan Kishan managed just 21 runs between them, Virat Kohli and player of the match Rishabh Pant settled any anxiety at the crease by scoring 52 each, with eight boundaries apiece.

Pant's half-century came off just 28 deliveries, while Kohli's score took him to within just three runs of equalling Martin Guptill's T20I record of 3,299 runs.

The West Indies mounted a strong chase, with Nicholas Pooran hitting 62 before being caught off Bhuvneshwar Kumar's delivery – a crucial wicket with just 15 balls remaining.

Rovman Powell's 68 dragged them close to a win, but Harshal Patel and Bhuvneshwar's expert final overs saw India over the line.

"You are always a bit scared when you are playing against these guys. In the end, it was a phenomenal finish," said Rohit.

"Right from the start, we knew it wouldn't be easy. But I am proud we executed our plans under pressure."

Brilliant Bhuvi

The experience of Bhuvneshwar proved key as the West Indies cranked up the pressure. The 32-year-old finished on 1-29 from four overs, giving up just two boundaries and signing off with just four singles and the wicket of Pooran from his final over.

"It was very critical at that point when Bhuvneshwar bowled," said Rohit. "That's where experience comes into play. Bhuvi has been doing it for many years and we believe in him a lot."

No century celebrations for Pollard

Kieron Pollard became the first West Indies player to reach 100 T20I appearances and the ninth overall in international cricket, although he could not mark the occasion by hitting the single six needed to reach a century in the format.

Pollard, who gave up 14 runs in his solitary over and scored three off the bat from as many deliveries, said of the finish: "We cannot call the batters out. We can look at it in different ways how we could have got those eight runs. We are a work in progress."

Cricket West Indies (CWI) and Koninklijke Nederlandse Cricket Board (KNCB) announced the match schedule for the West Indies Men’s first-ever One Day International (ODI) tour of the Netherlands in 2022.

Despite a 100-run fourth-wicket partnership between Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell, the West Indies lost the second T20 International against India by eight runs at Eden Gardens on Friday. The loss means India takes an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

A dispute over the use of player agents is said to be one of the key issues at the heart of allegations of player victimisation, which roiled West Indies cricket a few weeks ago.

The controversial issue was brought to the fore during the England tour of the Caribbean after all-rounder Odean Smith was dropped from the team ahead of the third T20 international.  Reports of the accusations were initially downplayed by Cricket West Indies president Ricky Skerrit and the senior members of the team’s hierarchy as an attempt to distract.

The CWI hierarchy has, however, since met with representatives of the West Indies Players Association (WIPA) to address the claims and the body’s Honourary General Secretary Wayne Lewis has confirmed that there are in fact a few issues to resolve.

“There were complaints to WIPA about things that happened, they were uncomfortable because of the situation, they were very unhappy and so we sat with Cricket West Indies and spoke about it,” Lewis told the Mason and Guest radio program.

“The complaint was that members within the cricket West Indies set-up were calling franchises overseas and advising them that particular players would not be given NOCs to play, and we thought that was odd because we have an MOU and a protocol that covers that, that did not include anyone from that area,” he added.

“There were situations where players were encouraged to change their agents to go with an agent of their (CWIs) choice and the players were resisting that because they had their own agents already.  So that made them a little uncomfortable as well, so these issues needed to be addressed, so we did the proper thing by talking to the CWI to get to the bottom of it.”

Lewis revealed that talks between the bodies had continued to be cooperative but that a complete solution on how to address the issue had not yet been reached.

The West Indies squad have flatly rejected the suggestions that Smith's omission from the match was anything other than tactical.

 

The Leeward Islands' top three batsmen Montcin Hodge, Kieran Powell, and Devon Thomas, all registered scores in the 70s as the Hurricanes heaped misery upon Guyana Harpy Eagles on day two of the West Indies Championship at the Queen's Park Oval.

Resuming the day on 116 with loss, already 10 ahead of where they had previously left Guyana all-out, the team added another 36 runs before the Eagles claimed their first wicket. 

Powell was the first to go, after being bowled for 74 by Nial Smith.  But there was no respite, as Thomas joined Hodge at the crease and the two put on a further 85 before Thomas was dismissed for 72.

 Hodge looked well set for a triple-digit tally but only lasted another five overs as he was dismissed for 72 off the bowling of Clinton Pestano, with the team at 246 for 3.  Guyana broke through soon after, with Gudakesh Motie claiming Kofi James for 11.

The Eagles faced another chastening spell at the crease, however, after Jahmar Hamilton and Terance Ward put on an 85 run partnership for the 5th wicket.  Hamilton was eventually dismissed for 48 after being trapped lbw by Smith.  At the close of play, Ward remained unbeaten on 46 with Rahkeem Cornwall on 13.  

The Leewards ended the day on 366 for 5 a lead of 250 runs.

Windies vice-captain Nicholas Pooran insists the team must find a coherent strategy to deal with India’s spinners after being caught in two minds in the opening match of the T20 series.

In the end, the West Indies were comfortably beaten by six wickets but at one point seemed set for a higher total than the 157 for 7 that the team eventually posted.  At 72 for 2, at the start of the 10th over, the West Indies had a set Pooran and Roston Chase at the crease and seemed set to build on a solid enough foundation.

 The introduction of leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi, however, threw a wrench into those plans as he immediately removed Chase who struggled to come to grips with the spinner before being dismissed for lbw.  Bishnoi, who ended with 2 for 17, then removed the dangerous Rovman Powell later in the over.  The debutant was the chief but not the team’s only issue as Yuzvendra Chahal had also proven difficult to get away on occasion.

“We played the spinners ok today, we would want to continue that and continue to build partnerships,” Pooran told members of the media following the match.

“We still need to negotiate the spinners a bit better, I think today we were caught in two minds how to go about them.  Whether to attack them or keep them out of the game and we got caught in both minds there.”

Pooran top-scored for the Windies with 65.

 

India have taken a 1-0 T20I series lead over the West Indies after a six-wicket victory in Wednesday's first test in Kolkata.

It was not always plain sailing for India, but in the end they closed out a comfortable victory that owed much to captain Rohit Sharma, debutant Ravi Bishnoi and Suryakumar Yadav.

West Indies had earlier reached 157-7 over their 20 overs, an innings that began poorly as Brandon King fell for just four to Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1-31) in the first over – though Kyle Mayers (31) and Nicholas Pooran (61) soon found the tourists some momentum.

After their respective wickets, West Indies really struggled to build up a head of steam again. Bishnoi (2-17) claimed the scalps of Roston Chase (four) and Rovman Powell (two) as the 21-year-old enjoyed a miserly outing on his debut.

Kieron Pollard (24 not out) at least restored a little dignity, but he had little help around him, thus setting India a reachable target.

Rohit's 40 off 19 gave India the start they needed, and Ishan Kishan (35 off 42) proved a solid – if pragmatic – partner until both were undone by Chase's (2-14) bowling.

Fabian Allen (1-23) and Sheldon Cottrell (1-35) then saw to Virat Kohli (17) and Rishabh Pant (eight), respectively, with both batsmen feeling somewhat aggrieved by the decisions.

But any suggestion of West Indies still having a chance were emphatically washed away by Suryakumar (34 not out) and Venkatesh Iyer (24 not out), who eased the hosts over the line at 162-4 with seven balls to spare.

Bishnoi makes his mark

Bishnoi initially looked nervous, throwing three wides in his first over. But he quickly adjusted his focus, posting impressive numbers as he dismissed Chase and Powell.

Speaking afterwards, he said: "The nerves are settled now. I was feeling very good, it's everyone's dream to play for India and I was feeling good. West Indies is one of the best T20 teams and I got the chance to play against them. I'll try to cut down on the wides in the next match!"

Pooran's efforts in vain

Were it not for Pooran's efforts, this would have been an even worse start to the three-match series for the Windies. His 61 with the bat was undoubtedly the highlight of their innings, with Pollard very aware that his side were otherwise disappointing.

Pollard said: "Getting down to the 19th over was good on the part of the bowlers. If I'm being honest, between overs six to 15 we scored too few runs. We were 15-20 runs short."

Middle-order batsman Yannic Cariah and opener Jeremy Solozano were critical in a recovery effort for the T&T Red Force who ended day one of the West Indies Championship match against the Windward Island Volcanoes, at the Brian Lara Stadium, on a promising 217 for 5.

At the close of play, Joshua Da Silva (51) and Terrance Hinds (5) were the not out batsmen at the crease. Hinds came in to bat after team captain Imran Khan retired hurt, after scoring one run, with what looked like a pulled muscle.

Earlier, it was Cariah who yet again anchored another Red Force recovery.  The team found themselves in early trouble following the dismissals of opener Keagan Simmons (8), Isaiah Rajah (0), and Jason Mohammed (0), which left them struggling at 22 for 3.  All three batsmen were sent packing on the back of a brilliant spell from fast bowler Sherman Lewis who ended the day with 3 for 24.

With the team in desperate need, Cariah joined Solozano, who had watched the early carnage from the other end, and the two proceeded to rescue the innings with a patient 112-run stand for the fourth wicket.  The partnership was broken when Solozano was caught, on 66, by Teddy Bishop, after attacking Kenneth Dember.

Cariah then joined up with Da Silva to stage a 59-run partnership before he was trapped lbw by Ryan John.

 

Two three-wicket hauls from Leeward Hurricane bowlers Daniel Doram and Colin Archibald devastated the Guyana Harpy Eagles batting line-up, to claim a strong position on the opening day of the West Indies Championship at Queens Park Oval.

At the close of play, in response to the Eagles being all out for 116, in 34.3 overs, the Leewards were 126 without loss and already leading by 10 runs.  Openers Kieran Powell (55) and Montcin Hodge (51) had each put half-centuries on the board to give the team a solid base heading into the second day.

Earlier, only four Guyana players managed double figures, Anthony Bramble (38), Keemo Paul (20), Clinton Pestano (14), and Veerasammy Permaul (11) in an innings that feature the rapid capitulation of the Eagles batting line-up.  Before Bramble, Guyana's first five batsmen managed a total of 24 runs combined, leaving the team in serious trouble at 37 for 5.

A partnership between Bramble and Keemo Paul, who combined for 50 was the highlight of the innings and briefly added respite.  Paul made 20 from 17 deliveries.

Doram ended the innings with figures of 3 for 16, Archibald 3 for 29, while Alzarri Joseph also claimed two wickets for 26 runs.

 

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