Uncapped Chase named in WI squad to face India
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC):
Barbadian batsman Roston Chase has been called up to Test duty, but selectors have confirmed the axing of wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin and have also overlooked left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican.
The right-handed Chase, who scored heavily for Barbados Pride in the regional first class this year, was the only uncapped player named in the 12-man squad announced for the upcoming four-Test series against India starting July 21.
As expected, all-rounder Jason Holder will lead the side which includes veteran Marlon Samuel and vice-captain and opener Kraigg Brathwaite.
Chase, meanwhile, forced his way into the selection frame when he amassed 710 runs at an average of 59, to be fourth highest run-getter in the recent first class campaign. He was just one of four players to pass the 700-run mark.
The 24-year-old also got the attention of selectors last year when he pummeled attractive half-centuries in either innings of the three-day President’s XI game against the touring Australians.
Ramdin, who announced his sacking in a Twitter rant last week, has made way for 24-year-old Barbadian gloveman Shane Dowrich, who played two Tests against the Aussies last year June. He scored a half-century on debut at Windsor Park in Roseau.
Warrican, meanwhile, who took a six-wicket match haul on debut against Sri Lanka in Colombo last October, has been dropped while fast bowler Jerome Taylor has abruptly retired from Test cricket.
The WICB announced yesterday that the Jamaican had informed he would not longer be available for selection in the game’s longest form.
Leon Johnson, inexplicably out of favour for the last year-and-a-half, has been recalled following a first class campaign where he plundered 807 runs at an average of 57 with two hundreds, to be the leading run-scorer.
The left-hander has played four Tests and averages nearly 40.
Selectors have kept faith with Rajendra Chandrika, who averages 14 from three Tests. His first four Test innings contained three ‘ducks’, but he redeemed himself with a half-century in Melbourne last December.
New chairman of selectors, Courtney Browne, said going forward selection would depend on consistency and guided by “statistical analysis”.
“The selection panel is looking to create a competitive environment where players are fully accountable for their performances while meeting the standards consistently in each of the three formats of the game,” Browne said.
“The methodology of selection will be further enhanced by the increased use of statistical analysis along with fitness standards. The players will be monitored closely for all regional and international competitions.”
The first Test bowls off at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground and continues with Tests at Sabina Park from July 30 to August 3; at the Darren Sammy National Cricket Ground from August 9-13 and at Queen’s Park Oval from August 18-22.
SQUAD: Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite, Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Rajendra Chandrika, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Leon Johnson, Marlon Samuels.