Gayle in charge of injury-hit squad
West Indies will be missing a group of key men to injury for their tour to Australia next month, with Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan among the major omissions. The experienced batsmen, who were part of the 2-0 Test loss late last year, will be joined at home by Adrian Barath, Daren Bravo, Jerome Taylor and Fidel Edwards.
Sulieman Benn, who was suspended for two ODIs for an incident in the Perth Test, is also not part of the trip due to injury, leaving Chris Gayle to lead a patched-up squad of 15. "We are missing some key players, but this is an opportunity for other players to re-establish themselves," Clyde Butts, the chairman of selectors, said.
"We have selected some allrounders who we believe have the ability to be match-winners at the international level. Dwayne Smith and Kieron Pollard have been a bit disappointing in the past, but they have displayed the ability to perform on the Twenty20 stage, and we think they will be major assets in the squad."
Another significant change is that Denesh Ramdin has been axed as vice-captain, a post he has held since late 2008 when Sarwan quit the job.
West Indies will play five ODIs and two Twenty20s on the tour and will use the matches to prepare for a home series against Zimbabwe and the World Twenty20 tournament in the Caribbean in April and May.
"We have faith in the players and we believe the team can beat Australia," Butts said. "Before we went to Australia for the Test matches, the team was not given a chance by many people, but we saw how well they bounced backed after the first Test and challenged the Aussies in Adelaide and Perth."
West Indies squad Chris Gayle (capt), Travis Dowlin, Runako Morton, Dwayne Bravo, Narsingh Deonarine, Brendan Nash, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Smith, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons, Nikita Miller, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Gavin Tonge.
February 4, tour game v Prime Minister's XI, Canberra
February 7, 1st ODI, Melbourne
February 9, 2nd ODI, Adelaide
February 12, 3rd ODI, Sydney
February 14, 4th ODI, Brisbane
February 19, 5th ODI, Melbourne
February 21, 1st T20, Hobart
February 23, 2nd T20, Sydney