West Indies in England 2012 May 30, 2012

Narine replaces injured Roach


Kemar Roach has been ruled out of the remainder of West Indies' tour of England with a shin injury and Sunil Narine, the spinner who is uncapped at Test level, has been named as his replacement.

Narine has just finished competing in the IPL* where he enjoyed considerable success for the winners, Kolkata Knight Riders, with 24 wickets at 13.50 and an economy rate of 5.47 from 15 matches. On hearing the news, an elated Narine said that he wants to be mentally and physically prepared for the task.

"When I got the call for the Test series...words can't explain how I felt at that moment. The dream was always to play Test cricket and I'm halfway there," Narine said. "I did well in the West Indies and I did well in India, but the pitches and conditions in England are different, so as a bowler you have to take your time to get ready and prepared."

Narine has played eight ODIs and two Twenty20 internationals, while his first-class cricket he has 34 wickets from six matches at 11.88. Narine has caught the eye with a variety of deliveries to put him in the 'mystery' category of offspinner and was expected to be named in the squad for the one-day series against England.

Roach, who has been West Indies' stand-out pace bowler during the Test series, was diagnosed with the injury following the second Test at Trent Bridge which the visitors lost by nine wickets to give England the series. He has been carrying soreness during most of the tour - and has spent time off the field during both matches - and will now aim to be fit for the visit of New Zealand.

West Indies coach Ottis Gibson admitted Roach was a major loss but said the decision was taken with a long-term view in mind. "We still have an awful lot of cricket to play this year and we did not want to risk losing as valuable a player as Kemar for a long period," he said.

"He has been outstanding with the ball for us so far this year and we are all gutted by his departure. Kemar made a lot of improvements, after enduring a tough time last year, and gave us some world-class performances during the series against Australia and here in England."

C.J. Clark, the West Indies physiotherapist, added: "Kemar has been carrying this soreness for the last two matches and in view of our upcoming schedule, we would like him to have the time to recover and prevent the onset of a more serious injury. It is always important to balance workload with the body's ability to repair, and I think it judicious to protect Kemar at this time."

During the first two Tests Roach bowled 68 overs to take eight wickets at 34.25 although he bowled better than the average suggests. At Trent Bridge he roughed up Jonny Bairstow with a series of rapid bouncers before having him caught at mid-on off a leading edge. However, he also suffered major problems with no-balls and twice had Alastair Cook caught behind off illegal deliveries before recovering his rhythm on the third day.

Roach is the second West Indies pace bowler to leave the tour following Shannon Gabriel's withdrawal after making his debut at Lord's. Gabriel was replaced by Tino Best who arrived shortly before the second Test.

West Indies have a two-day tour match against Leicestershire, starting on Saturday, to prepare for the final Test at Edgbaston and Gibson said Best and Fidel Edwards, who played at Lord's, will have a chance to stake a claim for a recall.

"We believe that a very excited Tino and a fit-again Fidel will be able to provide us with the spark that we will miss from Roach's absence," he said. "We still have an awful lot for which to play in the final Test, and Tino and Fidel can give us the cutting edge to our bowling if they play."

* 06:30 GMT, May 31, 2012 The story has been edited to remove a reference that suggested Narine had opted to play in the IPL over concurrent international series.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shawn on June 2, 2012, 15:45 GMT

    @MrPontingToYou, I wasn't trying to suggest that at all,only that instead of utilising him in the dead rubber, use him when it counts. I can't justify it with reasoning, so I'll endorse silence. With the ODI's coming maybe it's just to get him accustomed to the conditions. He also seems to have a good attitude toward his success, that he is now starting and still has a lot of work to do, so I look forward to seeing him play Tests in the future.

  • stewe on June 2, 2012, 15:15 GMT

    lets go narine spin ur web around those englishmen...

  • stewe on June 2, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    narine wil NOT play in the third test...he has played in england once befoe and that was when he was 16 yrs old...if they had intentions of playin him in the third test he would have been gettin acclimatized in the warm up game at liecestershire and not playing domestic t20 cricket in trinidad for his local side QueensPark as we speak...he is in the squad to gain test dressing room experience for the newzealand series....

  • manoj on June 2, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    Great to hear Narine included in the team but sorry at the same time to know that it's at the expense of Roach. In English conditions Roach (no-balls and all) is indispensable although there is always room for a world class spinner on any wicket. The question is whether Narine has reached or is on his way to reaching that status. Well what better way to find out than including him in the squad?.

  • Dummy4 on June 2, 2012, 12:22 GMT

    What people like Rollindice & landl47 don't understand is that before 2011 our bowling attack was not a effective as it is now! Rampaul had 4 wickets or something like that @ an average of over 100 runs. Yes check the stats , they dont lie. However since 2011 our top order has continuously been failing. Our top order is a big joke. even Bangladesh is getting better starts than us now. in the warm up match against a county team going on now again we lost 2 wickets before we had 30 runs on the board. That is not the sort of start we should be settling for. Bharat, Powell, Edwards & co need to spend some more time in the A team as It is extremely obvious that the current top order is not ready for International cricket especially in foreign conditions.. If we bring back Gayle & Sarwan it is higly unlikely that they will do any worse. Boycott , Holding, Warne, Atherton, All the experts have observed that our top order is sub par & yet Gibson insists on being foolhardy & stubborn.

  • Dummy4 on June 2, 2012, 1:16 GMT

    WI needs an infusion of experienced players....... Please make the change

  • Dave on June 1, 2012, 17:33 GMT

    With the next match a dead rubber, i'll suggest playing the players that are out of form as a kind of audition to see if any will make the test squad for NZ. i would love to see chris back as well for the final test but that seems far fetched. Rest the players who are already sure picks for the NZ test and audition the rest. so my preferred team for the last test: 1.Barrath, 2. Fudadin, 3.K. Edwards, 4.D.M.Bravo, 5,Powell, 6.Deonarine, 7.Ramdin, 8.Rampaul, 9.Narine, 10.F.Edwards, 11.Best.

  • anthony on June 1, 2012, 17:26 GMT

    @ essky, are you suggesting that narine be a one series wonder like mendis? then everyone will figure him out and thats it? top class spin bowlers have never been completely figured out, they always have their tricks, and ability, warne, murali, quadir, beshi... etc. narine should play and get a little experience in these conditions, against a top quality batting line up, with no pressure to perform.

  • David on June 1, 2012, 16:23 GMT

    I fully agree with you landl47, why is it everyone calling for the old WI players who have been losing for many years ,hoping that them returning to the side will bring victories and balance????????? and you can't expect the youngers (openers) to get off to good starts everytime, they are young and will learn in time to come, just like how Chris Gayle & Sarwan did,WI gave them PLENTY of time but they never turned anything around, that 2nd test was wide open,anything could've happened, and it so happens that england took our openers,in any match once your openers are gone for such low scores, more than likely it'll be hard on the guy down the order in Test matches, i wonder how ppl would feel if Gayle returns for ODIs and made some ducks.......think about that

  • Dummy4 on June 1, 2012, 14:44 GMT

    How come Andrew McGlashan does not know that Narine was the Player Of The Series 2012, just concluded!!

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