Devon Sheldon Smith
October 21, 1981, Hermitage, Sauters, St Patrick, Grenada
Left hand bat
Right arm offbreak
A belligerent left-handed opening batsman from Grenada, Devon Smith was drafted into the West Indies squad ahead of the Test series against India in March 2002, after making 750 runs for Windward Islands in the Busta Cup, though he made his debut 13 months later against a far tougher opponent. In his first Test, against Australia, Smith scored a blazing 62 in a losing cause, but failed to score in the next Test. A good eye compensates for his lack of footwork and throughout the series he showed promise, but it wasn't enough, and he was dropped to smooth off the rough edges. In 2004, he was selected to open against England, and he immediately pulled his team out of a hole with a stroke-filled century. But just as he began to settle into a groove, a freak net injury left him with a fractured thumb, and he missed the next two Tests. He was axed after another failure in the Test series against Australia in 2005-06 and spent two years in the wilderness. He returned to play in the one-dayers against India in 2006-07 and was picked for the World Cup squad where his form was solid rather than spectacular. He failed to move out of first gear against England in 2007, and he followed with a horror tour of Zimbabwe and South Africa that was only saved by his ODI career-best 91 in Johannesburg.
He was dropped again in 2009, but came back to prominence during the 2011 World Cup during which he opened in the absence of an injured Adrian Barath. Smith scored his maiden one-day hundred in West Indies' group match against Ireland and got two more half-centuries in the tournament.
Will Luke and Cricinfo staff May 2011
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