ICC World Test Championship 2019 has already started with the Ashes between Australia and England. Now West Indies will lock horns with India in two Tests. The first Test will be played from August 22 to 26 at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua and the second Test will be played from August 30 to September 3 at Sabina Park in Jamaica.
To keep the interest grow for Test Cricket, ICC decided to start the championship in Tests as well which might help to gain the lost popularity in the longer format. However, West Indies announced 13-member squad for the upcoming Test series against India.
Rahkeem Cornwall has earned his maiden Test call-up on the back of an impressive record for Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the West Indies Championship and the West Indies “A” Team since his first-class debut five years ago. The youngster has taken 260 wickets in 55 first-class matches and expected to be successful against India in the home soil. Not only bowling, but he has proved his batting in the bowling also. He has one hundred and 13 fifties in the first-class games so far.
“Rahkeem has been performing consistently over a long period of time and has proven to be a match-winner, so we believe his elevation to the Test squad is merited at this time,” Robert Haynes said, the head of the interim selection panel of Cricket West Indies.
“We believe he can provide an attacking option to our bowling attack with his sharp turn and extra bounce. He can also lend a bit of depth to the batting, so we are looking forward to him coming into the squad and making a valuable contribution,” said Haynes.
The squad are nearly the same which register a 2-1 series victory over England earlier this year in the Caribbean, apart from the injured fast bowler Alzarri Joseph and left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican.
“Alzarri is undergoing remedial work and we are monitoring his recovery, but we do not think he is ready yet to last five days of a gruelling Test match,” Haynes commented on Joseph. “He represents a key part of West Indies future and we do not want to rush him back. We have two important series coming up later in the year in India and we want to be very careful how his recovery is managed.”
Along with Cornwall, regular West Indies “A” Team captain Shamarh Brooks is the other player who earned the maiden call-up. All-rounder Keemo Paul has retained his place in the squad.
Jason Holder will lead the squad. There is a great chance for winning 120 points – sixty points for a win- in the new ICC World Test Championship points table. The series will be important for both the team.
Jason Holder (C), Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rakheem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach