Mike Findlay and his fellow selectors should have a relatively simple task when they sit down tomorrow to pick the West Indies team for the opening Cable & Wireless Test against India.

Providing that Brian Lara and Ramnaresh Sarwan are recovered and ready to return, five of the top six places are settled Chris Gayle, Sarwan, Lara, captain Carl Hooper and Shivnarine Chanderpaul.

The wicket-keeping slot, if barely, should go to the incumbent Ridley Jacobs. It is evident that Jacobs' keeping has been on the decline and his reliability as a No.7 batsman is also under the microscope, but his overall record and his known qualities as a fighter should be enough for him to retain a place.

Two of the fast bowling places are also straightforward, with the new ball going to Mervyn Dillon and Cameron Cuffy.

So Findlay and company are essentially only trying to fill the missing link of three players.

The existing vacancies are the second opening batsman, the third fast bowler and the individual identified as the fourth specialist bowler.

Two weeks ago, I gave you chapter and verse of why we should not revert to Stuart Williams in spite of his record-breaking runs in the Busta Series.

It leaves Daren Ganga and Devon Smith as those vying to partner Gayle.

Smith has done all that has been asked of him his season, but Ganga, who is yet to transform his seemingly solid technique into significant runs in 15 Tests, which have been spread over three years in six countries, at least deserves a chance to fail at home.

Based on what our fast bowlers did in Sharjah and Sri Lanka, one might want to suggest we place some names in a hat and pull one. Whether we tried Pedro Collins, Colin Stuart, Marlon Black, the results were very much the same.

Collins and Black are again in contention and are joined by the uncapped Darren Powell and Adam Sanford. Powell, spoken highly of by Andy Roberts, brings a breath of freshness and should strongly challenge Collins for the place.

Under normal circumstances, leg-spinner Din-anath Ramnarine should be the preferred choice as the fourth specialist bowler. But, as we saw in Sharjah, the selectors were prepared to leave him out for the first Test and instead opt for a batsman who could bowl to fill the No. 7 slot ahead of Jacobs.

The same policy should be applied here.

The first name that comes to mind for that position is Ryan Hinds, who in fact, filled the role for his debut Test in Sharjah. As a batsman, Hinds performed with supreme aplomb in his first taste of Test cricket and deserves to be retained. But the fact of the matter is that as long as Lara and Sarwan are back, there is no place from him in the top six.

The person coming in at No. 7 is intended to be one who is good enough to play as the fourth bowler. Hinds is a more than useful left-arm spinner for Barbados in regional competitions.

I distinctly get the impression, however, that Hooper doesn't have much faith in him as a bowler and the statistics can back up the point. In his two Tests, he has been given only 21 overs and in five One-Day Internationals he has had 18 overs.

Here is where the name of the uncapped Gareth Breese comes into the picture. He is a well-organised batsman with a first-class hundred and his off-spin bowling has been a revelation over the last two seasons.

This year, the 26-year-old Jamaican has performed the phenomenal feat of winning four successive Man-of-the-match awards in the Busta Series and his 377 runs (ave. 41.88) and 40 wickets (ave. 19.67) should not go unrecognised.

My 13 (with the starting 11 mentioned first), therefore, is: Gayle, Ganga, Sarwan, Lara, Hooper, Chanderpaul, Breese, Jacobs, Dillon, Cuffy, Collins, Powell, and Ryan Hinds.