West Indies include Gayle and Chattergoon
West Indies have axed Devon Smith ahead of the third Test against Australia and their top order has been boosted by the inclusion of Sewnarine Chattergoon, who missed out earlier in the series due to a shoulder injury. Chris Gayle, who was included in the squad for the second Test but failed to overcome his groin problem in time, has been named as captain of a 14-man group for the Barbados match.
The team management is confident Gayle will play as West Indies try to level the series, which Australia lead 1-0. Chattergoon, who played his only Test in the second match against Sri Lanka in April and impressed with 46 in the first innings, is no certainty to play when the Test begins at Kensington Oval on Thursday. West Indies were impressed by the efforts of the opener Xavier Marshall in Antigua, where he batted confidently in the first innings and posted 53.
To fit Gayle, Marshall and Chattergoon all into the top order West Indies might have to consider dropping Runako Morton, who played well in the first Test but was out of sorts in Antigua. Smith has already paid the price for an extended run of poor form in the Test outfit, having not made a Test half-century since he scored 88 in Brisbane in 2005-06.
Sulieman Benn has been named as the sole spinner in the group and after the fast and medium-paced attack struggled in the second Test he might be a chance to play, depending on the Bridgetown pitch. Kemar Roach, a 19-year-old fast bowler from Barbados with only four first-class games to his name, has been included in the squad but is unlikely to play. He was in fact set to play for Ombersley in the Lancashire League as a professional but was unable to meet the requirement of a minimum of five first-class matches. To his good fortune, it made him available for selection for West Indies.
"I know that when a Test match comes around, they sometimes draft in players in the island where the match is, but I wasn't expecting to be in the squad," Roach told the Nation. "I'm quite happy to be there. If selected, I want to put in a good performance.
"I have smoothened out my run-up. My approach to the wicket is a little slower. I've been talking to Andy Roberts and a couple of other guys who have played at the highest level."
West Indies squad Chris Gayle (capt), Xavier Marshall, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Runako Morton, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Dwayne Bravo, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Darren Sammy, Sulieman Benn, Jerome Taylor, Kemar Roach, Daren Powell, Fidel Edwards.