April 26, 2003

Gayle recalled for third Test against Australia

Wisden CricInfo Staff

The West Indies selectors have recalled Chris Gayle for the third Test against Australia and announced the return to fitness of Shivnarine Chanderpaul (after knee injury), Ridley Jacobs (groin) and Jermaine Lawson (chicken pox). Wavell Hinds, Pedro Collins and David Bernard, the debutant allrounder, were dropped for the Test starting at Bridgetown, Barbados, on May 1.

Gayle, who was controversially dropped for the first two Tests, returns after West Indies were thrashed in the first Test at Georgetown (by nine wickets) and the second at Port of Spain (by 118 runs).

Gayle was axed for allegedly violating an eligibility rule that demanded playing in the West Indies domestic tournament for selection to the national side. He had missed the final featuring his Jamaican side, and instead participated in an international double-wicket tournament in St.Lucia.

Brian Lara, the captain, made the mandatory upbeat noises, saying, "My approach in the remaining matches will be very positive. I am very optimistic about our batting in the remaining matches but in the bowling we need to do some work to limit the Australians.

However, he hinted that West Indies could continue their curiously defensive strategy of playing seven specialist batsmen by saying: "One of things we do not want is to lose the next Test match, if we can get a draw it would be great, so we need to be careful who we select in the next match."

The squad 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Devon Smith, 3 Daren Ganga, 4 Brian Lara (capt), 5 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 6 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 7 Marlon Samuels, 8 Ridley Jacobs, 9 Mervyn Dillon, 10 Vasbert Drakes, 11 Jermaine Lawson, 12 Omari Banks, 13 Carlton Baugh (wk), 14 Tino Best