West Indies pace bowler Shannon Gabriel remains very much a part of the plans of the new Desmond Haynes-led selection panel despite not being selected in the squad for the first Test against England.

The 33-year-old pace bowler, who has been playing for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force in the West Indies Championship, was not named among the 15-man squad for the first Test or Presidents XI.  His omission is, however, due to sustaining a hamstring injury.

“Shannon was injured in the game that he played in Trinidad.  We were told by the medical panel that he is having a bit of a problem with his hamstring and would not be fit for selection,” Haynes told members of the media on Wednesday.

“Shannon did very well against England the last tour here.  He’s probably our fastest bowler and we are hoping to get him fit so that he can be on the park."

Overall Gabriel has taken 37 wickets against England in 11 matches and took 5 for 25 and overall figures of 9 for 137 when he face England in 2020.  The English went on to win the series 2-1.  Concerns have been raised over the player’s workload in recent times after the fast bowler has found himself sidelined by a few injuries.

Out-of-favour West Indies opening batsman Kieran Powell has admitted it was a disappointment to not at least be considered for the CWI President’s XI squad ahead of the upcoming four-match Test series against England.

The 31-year-old left-hander missed out on a chance under the new selection panel, after being skipped over in favour of Jamaica batsman John Campbell.  Powell, who last played for the West Indies last August against Pakistan, has scored 144 runs in two matches for the Leeward Islands in the West Indies Championship, the seventh-best so far.

Campbell has in the meantime scored 213.  With performances, the batsman believes there could also have been some consideration for Leewards no. 3 Devon Thomas who has scored 242, the second most behind West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite, who has 341.

“I definitely thought that if I didn’t make the Test squad I would make the President’s XI based on the performances, but I saw Devon Thomas batting the way that nobody else in the Caribbean batted in those two games and if the team is going to be selected on performances, the way that he has played is second to none so you would like to think that he would have gotten into this squad,” Powell told the Mason and Guest radio show.

Despite not making the squad, however, Powell was pleased with his start to the season and expressed disappointment at the competition going on a break during the England tour.

“I’m pretty happy with where I was able to get to.  I’m very disappointed the season was halted after two matches because you would have seen cricket not being played for two years and guys were so excited to get back out there and the level of cricket the Leewards played in those games, we had some tough decisions against Barbados and a few things could have gone our way.”

 

Former West Indies batsman, Carlisle Best, insists he does not understand the reluctance by Cricket West Indies (CWI) to part ways with team captain Kieron Pollard and coach Phil Simmons given the team’s recent poor run of performances.

Simmons, who was appointed a coach of the team in 2019, and Pollard, who was appointed West Indies white-ball captain that same year, have come under immense pressure in recent months, following a string of bad results and poor performances.

An aging Windies squad put in a poorly, lackluster showing at last year’s T20 World Cup, where they exited meekly, and followed that up with a historical One Day International series loss to Ireland and 3-0 T20 series sweep at the hands of Pakistan.

The team rallied to beat England 3-2 in a T20 series against England last month but were defeated 6-0 overall, 3-0 (ODI), 3-0 (T20I), in their most recent tour of India.  In particular,  the batting form of the team has been lambasted with many believing there to be an overall lack of concentration or engagement.  Best believes given the results the leaders of the squad have to be judged on what they have accomplished to date.

“What kind of leader is not going to be accountable for the results that occur under his stewardship,” Best told the Mason and Guest radio show. 

“If we are going forward, we have to focus primarily on performances and those performances have to be result oriented…Do we want a winning team and can we find that winning formula, certainly we do not have that formula now with either captain Pollard or coach Simmons. It’s as simple as that,” he added.

“The writing was on the wall a long time ago when he made the comment publicly that IPL and Trinidad came before West Indies cricket that is well documented and yet he finds himself as a Putin of West Indies cricket.”

England captain Joe Root believes there is still a way back for Stuart Broad and James Anderson, and admitted that he is grateful to have maintained his own position after a dire Ashes series.

Anderson and Broad have been outspoken about their omissions from the squad for the upcoming tour of the West Indies, with the latter also criticising the fact that he was only informed of the decision via a brief phone call with Interim managing director of cricket Andrew Strauss.

Strauss selected the 16-man squad along with interim coach Paul Collingwood and head scout James Taylor, after a 4-0 Ashes defeat led to the departure of England head coach Chris Silverwood.

Despite seeing his experienced team-mates dropped, Root claimed there could be a way back into the fold for the duo.

"I've spoken both to Stuart and Jimmy and they're obviously disappointed and angry. Stuart in particular has voiced that quite publicly," Root said, as reported via The Telegraph.

"You'd expect that. I've got a huge amount of respect for both of them. It's been made very clear, no one is saying this is the end for them. 

"If we're in a position where [Broad and Anderson] can come back into this team, then great, that's only going to strengthen things. No-one's been told that it's the end of the road."

Anderson and Broad have taken a combined 1,177 Test wickets, ranking as the country's two most prolific bowlers of all time in the longest format.

With a number of regulars, such as Jos Buttler and Rory Burns, missing the Windies tour, Root acknowledged he was thankful to keep his place, though he has never lost faith in his own ability.

Indeed, despite England's poor display as a team Down Under, Root enjoyed a stellar 2021, scoring 1,708 runs across 29 Test innings.

 

"It's never nice when you see people that you've worked closely with for a long period of time lose their jobs," Root continued.

"Clearly it was a disappointing tour [in Australia] and we massively underperformed. As Straussy mentioned, [we need] a bit of a reset, and a real chance to take things forward. I'm very grateful that I've got the opportunity to do that as captain.

"It's a real opportunity that we've got to take with both hands. It's obviously a very new-looking squad, and it's a real chance for the guys to step up and really take the chances that are presented to them – me included.

"I didn't waver. I'm very passionate about trying to take this team forward. I'm grateful I've got that opportunity, I really am."

Root posted a batting average of just 32.2 throughout England's third consecutive series defeat in Australia, well down on his career Test average of 49.23, but will now attempt bounce back by leading England to just their second series win in the Caribbean since 1968.

James Anderson insists he still has "a lot left to offer" after speaking for the first time since being surprisingly left out of England's squad for the upcoming Test series against West Indies, from which Stuart Broad is also absent.

Both have been left out of the squad for next month's tour after a dismal Ashes series led to the departure of head coach Chris Silverwood.

Interim managing director of cricket Andrew Strauss – who replaced the outgoing Ashley Giles – as well as interim coach Paul Collingwood and head scout James Taylor made up a three-man selection committee ahead of the series, which begins in Antigua on March 8.

Strauss insists there remains a way back for both bowlers, who have taken 1,177 Test wickets between them.

However, Anderson – who turns 40 in July – said on the Tailenders podcast: "I'm praying this isn't the end.

"But if I never play for England again, I know I've got amazing people around me to support me and that's really important."

He confirmed his intention to perform for Lancashire when the County Championship starts in April, with the aim of working his way back into England reckoning.

"I've got one more go at digging deep," Anderson added. "I've got a lot left to offer – I've still got the hunger and passion to play.

"It was a shock and a disappointment to get that call but having processed it, it's important I try to focus on stuff I can control and that's showing people what I can do with the ball in my hand."

Anderson is England's record Test wicket-taker with 640 to his name in 169 matches at an average of 26.58, and has taken five wickets in an innings 31 times, more than any other England bowler.

 

Broad had previously hit out at his own omission, writing in the Daily Mail earlier this month: "I am waking up more confused and angrier with each passing day. I feel gutted. 

"Do I need to prove myself again? In my mind, I've nothing to prove. I am a proven performer, so it is now about the English cricketing summer and targeting the home series against New Zealand in June."

West Indies women’s team head coach Courtney Walsh is convinced the team heading to ICC Women’s World next month is a well-balanced one.

On Monday, Cricket West Indies announced the naming of a 15-man squad, which as expected will be led by Windies Women captain Stephanie Taylor and feature several other experienced players.  Joining the likes of Taylor will be the experienced Deandra Dottin, Shemaine Campbell, and Anisa Mohammed who will be headed to her fourth World Cup.

The team, however, will also feature a host of younger players and two uncapped players Kaysia Schultz and Jannellia Glasgow in the reserves.  Walsh believes the team’s combination is suited to performing well in all areas.

“We were just trying to get the best combination we thought for the World Cup, so all the tours we had, the camps and thing.  All those things were taken into consideration in trying to get as balance an attack as we can in terms of batting, bowling, and fielding as well,” Walsh said.

“We wanted the complete package with regards to batting, bowling, and fielding. The 18 players that we have here is what we as the selectors thought was the best balanced 18, we could take. We have an adequate backup should there be any injuries.”

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.

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