Picture Credit: Twitter

Picture Credit: Twitter

Cricket West Indies have announced their 13-man squad for the first Test against India. The Men in Blue will begin their multi-format tour from July 12, which includes two Tests, three ODIs followed by five T20Is. The roster features the return of all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall, as well as two uncapped players in left-handed batter Kirk McKenzie and Alick Athanze. Lead spinner Gudakesh Motie however misses the roster due to injury, clearing the path for Joel Warrican’s return to the Test cricket squad. 

The selection of Cornwall was particularly noteworthy, since the 30-year-old hasn’t played in a Test match for West Indies since November of 2021. It is likely that Cornwall and Warrican have been included in the roster to cover for Motie’s absence, with the West Indies looking to their specialist pacers to shut down India’s batting.

“We are without Motie, who is doing his rehabilitation, and this has created an opportunity for Warrican and Cornwall in the spin bowling department," Chief selector Desmond Haynes said. “They have both played at Test match level before and are capable of doing the job,” he further added. Other interesting inclusions are debutants Athanaze and McKenzie. “We were very impressed with the approach to batsmanship of McKenzie and Athanaze on the recent ‘A’ Team tour of Bangladesh. These are two young players who got good scores and played with great maturity, and we believe they deserve an opportunity," Haynes added. In terms of notable exclusions other than Motie, Kyle Mayers and Jayden Seales also miss out due to injury.

The West Indies will be itching for a good performance in the upcoming Test match. Having failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup, the pressure to perform and make amends is big. The roster will travel to Dominica on Sunday for the first Test match which kicks off 12th July at Windsor Park. 

West Indies squad for 1st Test:
Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Jermaine Blackwood (vc), Alick Athanaze, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kirk McKenzie, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach, Jomel Warrican.