Barath included in first Test squad
Adrian Barath, the promising Trinidad & Tobago batsman from whom much is expected, has been called up to the West Indies squad for the first Test against Bangladesh along with Ravi Rampaul, who impressed in the ODIs against India.
Barath, 19, has had an outstanding regional first-class season (845 runs at an average of 44.47) and has been tipped for a maiden Test call-up. As one of only two specialist openers in the squad the young batsman has a chance to stake a claim as partner to his captain, Chris Gayle.
"When I started playing cricket, I had goals from the youth level to the first-class level. I gave myself before the age of 20 to make the West Indies Test team," Barath told the T&T Express. "I think it's something that I worked hard to achieve. It was a challenging road for me, especially this year, to be consistent.
"I got a great feeling, I couldn't say much. I was speechless for a few moments when the chairman of selectors [Clyde Butts] called and told me. A lot of people don't expect a lot from the Bangladesh team but I think they have a fairly good team. It's just for me to make the most of the opportunity."
With Fidel Edwards still recovering from a lower back injury and unavailable for selection, the selectors called up Rampaul, who impressed in the India ODIs, and the uncapped Andrew Richardson. Rampaul is yet to play Test cricket.
Runako Morton, who last played a Test in May 2008, was the highest West Indies run-scorer and third-highest overall in the ODI series against India. He and Guyana's Narsingh Deonarine are the two top batsmen in the first-class competition and have been recalled to the Test team. Brendan Nash, not part of the recent ODI and Twenty20 sides, has returned to the scene.
The notable omissions from the West Indies' previous Test series in England include Lionel Baker and Lendl Simmons. The first Test starts on Thursday in St. Vincent.
West Indies squad: Chris Gayle (capt), Denesh Ramdin (wk), Adrian Barath, Dwayne Bravo, Sulieman Benn, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Narsingh Deonarine, Runako Morton, Brendan Nash, Ravi Rampaul, Andrew Richardson, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Jerome Taylor