The 13th season of the ODI World Cup concluded on Sunday. It was the first time the former two-time champions – West Indies were not a part of the marquee event as they could not secure qualification for the same. They will look to rebuild their side and their first test will be a three-match ODI series against England.
The West Indies squad was recently announced as a couple of fresh faces were selected. Sherfane Rutherford and Matthew Forde were the two uncapped players picked in the side that is going to be led by Shai Hope. Shane Dowrich, who has played 35 Tests for the West Indies and only one ODI back in 2019, received a call-up after having an excellent domestic Super50 Cup where he finished with 234 runs in five innings at an average of 78, registering a century and a fifty.
Opening batter Kjorn Ottley, who was the third-highest run-scorer in the Super50 Cup with 317 runs in eight innings, averaging 45.28, including a century and a fifty, was also recalled and he could add to the two ODIs he played in January 2021.
Injured Justin Greaves wasn’t available for selection, while Nicholas Pooran and Jason Holder skipped the series to prepare for the T20I format. Holder is also concentrating on red-ball cricket. Meanwhile, Darren Bravo, who had an impressive Super50 campaign, was not picked.
Alzarri Joseph named vice-captain
Talented fast bowler Alzarri Joseph was named as Hope’s deputy after chief selector Desmond Haynes was happy with how he led Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the Super50 Cup.
“We named Alzarri Joseph as vice-captain as he demonstrated maturity and good leadership qualities for the Leeward Islands Hurricanes during the recent CG United Super50 Cup. We believe with exposure and opportunities he could be a future leader in West Indies cricket,” chief selector Desmond Haynes was quoted as saying by Cricbuzz.
“Matthew Forde is a whole-hearted cricketer who has been impressive. He is one of the players coming through the West Indies Academy program who can form part of the future,” Haynes added.
The preparations began in full swing on November 20 in Antigua as the players spent time in the nets, honing their skills. The focus was also on the strength and conditioning of the players in the camp.
“Everyone is fully aware of what is required as we prepare to face England on our home soil. The camp will be detailed and based on specifics that we have identified will be required if we are to be successful at the international level. We will have high-intensity, purposeful training sessions and everything that we do will be geared towards improving and winning,” head coach Daren Sammy said.
“I believe in preparation. I believe when you prepare well you give yourself the best chance of winning. When you do the hard work, the right kind of work, when you finetune your skills, that will add value to your game,” he added.
The first two ODIs are going to be played in Antigua on December 3 and 6, respectively. The third and final game will be played in Barbados on December 9. The three-match ODI series will be followed by five T20Is.
West Indies squad: Shai Hope (captain), Alzarri Joseph (vice captain), Alick Athanaze, Yannic Cariah, Keacy Carty, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Matthew Forde, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Gudakesh Motie, Kjorn Ottley, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd, Oshane Thomas