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July 23, 2012
Chris Gayle is set to play his first Test in more than 18 months after being named in the West Indies squad for the first Test against New Zealand. Gayle has not played Test cricket since the tour of Sri Lanka in December 2010, and he will provide a major boost to the West Indies batting line-up, which has also regained Shivnarine Chanderpaul after he missed the final Test against England due to a side strain.
The 13-man squad does not include the batsman Darren Bravo, who is West Indies' second leading run scorer in Tests in the past year. Bravo, who has not managed a half-century in his past five Tests and scored his most recent fifty in the first innings of the first Test against Australia in April, is still recovering from a groin strain* sustained during the England tour.
The top-order batsman Assad Fudadin was included after making his Test debut in the final match of the England tour. Sunil Narine was the only specialist spinner named in the squad and there was no room for the fast man Fidel Edwards, who was part of the Test side during the tour of England.
The first Test against New Zealand begins in Antigua on Wednesday, before the sides move on to Jamaica for the second and final Test.
West Indies squad Chris Gayle, Adrian Barath, Kieran Powell, Assad Fudadin, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Marlon Samuels, Narsingh Deonarine, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Darren Sammy (capt), Tino Best, Kemar Roach, Ravi Rampaul, Sunil Narine.
*01:15 GMT, July 23, 2012: The story has been edited to state that Darren Bravo is still recovering from injury
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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