West Indies retain winning combination
West Indies have retained the same squad that won the last two matches against Zimbabwe recently for the first two one-day internationals against India in Kingston.
Brian Lara said he believed that West Indies had the best combination for the five-match series against India. "We have this situation where we tried different players," he told reporters. "What we were really looking to do was to come up with the best possible 14 for this particular series."
Defending the axing of Denesh Ramdin, whose wicketkeeping and batting failed to inspire in the four matches he played, Lara said that it had been difficult to ignore the claims of his replacement, Carlton Baugh. "The likes of Carlton Baugh coming into the team and performing well is good, putting some pressure on the young Ramdin, who I have a lot of respect for, but maybe he needed that kind of competition," he said.
"Read whatever you like in it but it's not a situation where you consider a 21-year-old wicketkeeper being dropped. I think the competition is very healthy and it augurs well for West Indies cricket. It's a situation where a guy, Carlton Baugh, has got an opportunity and grabbed it with both hands."
Baugh, the 23-year-old Jamaica wicketkeeper, forced his way back into the side after two seasons with some consistent domestic and A team performances - including a series-clinching role against England A - and clearly has Lara's support.
West Indies squad: Brian Lara (capt), Chris Gayle, Runako Morton, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Smith, Carlton Baugh (wk), Corey Collymore, Fidel Edwards, Jerome Taylor, Ian Bradshaw, Dwayne Bravo, Dave Mohammad.