West Indies include Deonarine for first Test
West Indies have recalled batsman Narsingh Deonarine for the first Test against Australia in Barbados, starting April 7. The 13-member squad also includes fast bowler Ravi Rampaul, who missed the one-dayers and Twenty20 due to injury and illness.
Deonarine, the left-handed middle-order batsman and offspinner, last played for West Indies during the home series against South Africa in 2010. He was the leading run-scorer in the Regional Four-Day Competition with 582 runs in seven matches at an average of 44.76. He also took 20 wickets for Guyana, including two five-wicket hauls.
"Deonarine has been the leading the batsman this season in the Regional Four-Day and has demonstrated his commitment and a new level of maturity," said Clyde Butts, the chairman of selectors. "We have not seen many big scores from the batsmen in this year's competition, but he has played some very good innings for Guyana and also bowled very well coming onto the latter half of the tournament. We expect this same level of focus against the Aussies. He is sure to be an asset."
Deonarine was among those not offered a contract or retainer last year by the West Indies Cricket Board because his fitness was "deemed unsatisfactory". The board was not pleased with his attitude to fitness, which it said was "unacceptable for an international cricketer".
Butts said he was impressed by the performances of the batsmen on the two away tours of Bangladesh and India last year, and backed them to do the same against Australia, ranked No.3 in the world.
Kirk Edwards, who scored a century on Test debut against India last year, has been named Darren Sammy's deputy. Those missing from the squad that toured India include the experienced batsman Marlon Samuels, wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin and spinner Shane Shillingford. Samuels, who played the one-dayers recently is away in India for the IPL.
Rampaul was unable to be considered for the West Indies pre-tour training squad or the ODI series due to a bout of dengue fever. He also had to shrug off a shoulder problem. He played for the Trinidad and Tobago in the Regional Four-Day semi-final against Barbados, taking 4 for 55 in the first innings.
The one-dayers and Twenty20 series were shared 2-2 and 1-1 respectively.
Edited by Kanishkaa Balachandran