West Indies in Australia 2009-10 November 2, 2009

Chris Gayle reappointed captain for Australia tour

Cricinfo staff

Chris Gayle has been reappointed West Indies captain for the upcoming tour of Australia later this month, marking the end of the contractual dispute between the striking players and the West Indies Cricket Board. Senior players such as Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Dwayne Bravo also returned to the squad for the three-Test series following the strike, while youngsters such as Adrian Barath, Kemar Roach and Gavin Tonge made the cut as well.

The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) met in Barbados on Saturday to approve the selectors' recommendation of Gayle as captain and made the announcement on Monday. Gayle, 30, has not played international cricket since the home series against India in July due to the ugly contractual dispute between WICB and the players' union. In his absence, the selectors fielded depleted teams led by Floyd Reifer against Bangladesh and in the Champions Trophy.

Clyde Butts, the chairman of selectors, said he was confident of the team's prospects in Australia. "I think we have a good combination and an experienced team which I expect to do very well," he said. "We have selected a balanced team … we have a quality bowling attack, and a very good batting line-up with players who have performed on the international stage. We believe the players all have the ability to deliver at the highest level."

There are only two uncapped players in the squad, Barath and Tonge. Barath, the Trinidad & Tobago batsman, came into prominence by scoring a century for West Indies A against the touring England side earlier this year. He was then included in the squad for the first home Test against Bangladesh in July but didn't play. However, Barath shone for T&T during the Champions League in India. There is no third opener in the 15-man squad - Devon Smith and Lendl Simmons haven't been picked - so Barath could well open with Gayle in Brisbane.

Tonge, a 26-year old fast bowler, and Roach were handed their debut against Bangladesh during the strike and impressed with their speed. They proved a handful on the fast pitches in South Africa during the ICC Champions Trophy and those performances won them their spots on the plane to Australia. The trip will also be an interesting one for Brendan Nash, who played for Queensland before qualifying to become a West Indies international.

Fast bowler Fidel Edwards was not named in the squad because of a knee injury. Edwards had a problem with his knee after returning from the Champions League in India and missed the ongoing WICB President's Cup.

The announcement puts a lid on speculation over whether Daren Ganga, who captained Trinidad & Tobago to the final of the inaugural Champions League, would be handed the West Indies position. Ganga's leadership in India had been widely commended and fuelled the speculation but John Dyson, the recently deposed West Indies coach, revealed selectors had previously baulked at moves to restore him to the captaincy over concerns that his batting was not up to the rigors of international cricket. Ganga scored three centuries in 48 Tests between 1998 and 2008, averaging just 25.71.

"There was certainly some hesitation there," Dyson told Cricinfo before the confirmation of Gayle's captaincy. "Daren is obviously an impressive bloke and he is well suited to leading the Trinidadian side, but from my talks with selectors, the feeling was that he had not really grasped his opportunities in his 48 Tests."

Dyson, who predicted Gayle would hold on to the job, said it would be "wise of the selectors" to gauge his commitment to it. "Many of the things that have happened to the West Indies team haven't been his fault," Dyson said. "A lot of people would be tempted by the IPL and other leagues, and I think more and more players will let it be known that they are not totally committed to their teams. If Chris is committed to international cricket, I think he could yet be a good captain."

Gayle has had mixed results as captain, winning three Tests out of 14 and 13 ODIs out of 38. He led West Indies to two series wins in one-dayers, including an away victory against England last year, and against the touring Sri Lanka. He presided over a surprise win in the first Test against South Africa in Johannesburg but his side went on to lose the next two games and the series. His other Test wins came against Sri Lanka in Port-of-Spain to level the two match series and a deciding win over England at home earlier this year, before West Indies handed back the Wisden Trophy when they toured just after.

Squad: Chris Gayle (capt), Adrian Barath, Sulieman Benn, Dwayne Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Travis Dowlin, Brendan Nash, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Darren Sammy, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Jerome Taylor, Gavin Tonge.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • LeRoi on November 8, 2009, 20:33 GMT

    gottalovetheraindance: who do you think will be WI 20/20 squad, the reason that i am asking is that we have a lot of young players who deserve to make a decent living. Our older guys has been playing 20/20 for awhile but has been failing to make it to lucrative leagues, so i personally think that this should bring about a change in picking our 20/20 team.

  • giovaughn on November 7, 2009, 2:17 GMT

    delboy u can talk all you want. all the laptops & technology in the world wont help as much as playing real cricket in real pressure situations you think it was a laptop or any analytical tool helped holding take 14 wickets at the oval or lara make 277 vs australia in their backyard or ambrose bowl out england for 46 or help viv make a hundred off 50 odd balls. if you thought so think again. by all means technology is good but nothing beats knowledge exposure & experience when combined with hard work & talent as they give you a boost in confidence so you can go on the field & perform well in almost any condition under pressure.

  • Steven on November 7, 2009, 1:18 GMT

    Its amazing that everyone is talking about Ganga leading the West Indies in Test matches, when he should be in charge of the one day and the 2020 sides as he has proven to be very formidable. Also everyone says Ganga cannot make the Test side because of his test average. (26.4). Have you seen the average of his replacements - they are all below 26, except Dale Richards 27. Ha Ha Ha,

    Steven 500

  • Kirwin on November 6, 2009, 15:11 GMT

    Good squad, especially with the bowling. I think these young fast bowlers could be good prospects. The selectors must remember that it is AUSTRALIA they will be playin, and should not discard these young men if they do not perform well just after 1 0r 2 matches. I think even though Dowlin performed credbly in the recent past, take into consideration his age. Simmons would be a better investment, plus he can wicketkeep if Ramdin is injured.

  • Derek on November 6, 2009, 11:37 GMT

    gottalovetheraindance&Terryj; please leave England out of this they recruit their BETTER players these days from SA and AUS. That luxury of WI players playing in England no longer exist so the WI management need to look at forging alliance with the likes of Scotland, Ireland, Holland, Kenya and Zimbabwe. There is no amount of experts in these forums who could do well with donating a laptop or two and developing the analytical tools needed by the WI coaching staff to get upp to speed with the likes of the Australians. Cricket to a greater extent is played out on the PC. The part played on the pich is 30% ability and 70% mental strength. These are the areas which our coaches need to focus on at grassroots once they manage to rein in the egos.

  • giovaughn on November 5, 2009, 22:27 GMT

    TerryJ i agree with you entirely. if you look at the great west indian players, most spent time playing in england /australia. So they were exposed to a wide variety of conditions & top players before & during their illustrious careers. it is full time we realise that when youngsters play regional cricket here (no matter how 'well' they perform) this does very little to prepare them for the rigours of top class cricket as the quality of the pitches coaching & cricket in the region is no longer as good & competitive as they used to be. this i believe is one of the main reasons we are at the bottom of the basin. look at all the players we have used in the past 15 years because they made runs or took wickets in 4 day competition & check how many of them were able to play quality cricket for a sustained period of time? How many of them could make a test or one day squad for a team ranked higher than west indies now?

  • Terry on November 5, 2009, 12:08 GMT

    We still haven't got it into our thick skulls here in the W.I.I have read all the comments about "good team" and "good to have our best players back in the squad",and also who should have been picked and who shouldn't.We continue to fool ourselves and live in a dream world believing that our cricket will again rise to the level of our past glory.This will never happen until we address 2 things.Firstly..professionalism.Gone are the days when the majority of our cricketers were playing pro cricket in England.We are now a team of amateurs going to Australia to play pros.At the start of the series we may have a fighting spirit but the pros will eventually wear down that spirit and then grind us into the ground.Mentally,they are going to take us apart and by the end of the 3rd test we'll be physically & mentally drained and dying to return home.We need to start a pro league like football.Secondly,there is now way too much insularity in the W.I.team unlike the true unity of the T&T T20 side.

  • Godfrey on November 5, 2009, 11:25 GMT

    A serious mistake.Lets face it Gayle will go after this test series(freelance). No question Simmons should have been in the squad at the expense of DOWLIN. Simmons(opener,keeper, seamer). TO BEAT the AUSSIES you needto score at a min of3.4 an over per day.Our middle order has five batsmen of a similar style.There is no one to take the attack to the Aussies bowlers. We have a cautious middle. It is unfortunate that Edwards couldnot make it.Finally we should have gambled with another spinner at the expense of Rampaul.Maybe Bishoo. Lets see how he goes in todays match.

  • manoj on November 5, 2009, 10:07 GMT

    I am really sad for pollard. The aussies have taken note of his ability but regretably the WI board has overlooked him.. He should have been a first hand choice ...and what abt Darren Ganga???...even if he cant be the captain , atleast he should have been in the side.....

  • Andre on November 4, 2009, 23:49 GMT

    A 15 man squad for such a long tour is really not enough. It lacks both a backup keeper and opener, a slot that Lendl Simmons would easily fill. I personally would have liked to see another spinner (Nikita Miller, Dave Mohammed), or at least a spinning allrounder (Sherwin Ganga, Royston Crandon) in the mix.

  • No featured comments at the moment.