Fast bowler Chemar Holder and middle-order batter Shamarh Brooks have returned to the West Indies squad for the two-Test series against Pakistan beginning August 12 in Kingston.
Holder has recovered from an injury that ruled him out of the home Tests against South Africa earlier this year, while Brooks makes it to the 17-man contingent on the back of a century in an intra-squad warm-up game last week.
In what is the first series for West Indies in the new World Test Championship cycle, Holder replaces the experienced Shannon Gabriel, who has been left out to complete his recovery from a hamstring injury. Brooks comes in for Darren Bravo, who has been given a break since since he has been in a bio-bubble since early June.
It will be Holder's first comeback of sorts since his debut against New Zealand in December last year. Since then, he has not played any first-class cricket, but lead selector Roger Harper expects him to "bolster" the pace contingent that also includes Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Alzarri Joseph and Jason Holder.
As for Brooks, Harper said that the right-hand batter's 134 in the warm-up game, led by national team captain Kraigg Brathwaite and vice-captain Jermaine Blackwood respectively, helped hm break into the squad. He will be fighting for a spot in the middle-order that has Nkrumah Bonner, Kyle Mayers, Roston Chase and Blackwood.
"I expect the team to be highly competitive in every department while playing with passion, purpose and determination," Harper was quoted as saying in a CWI press release. "I look forward to the batsmen stepping up as they did in the series against Bangladesh and against Sri Lanka earlier this year in Antigua.
West Indies had finished second-last in the previous iteration of the WTC, winning only three of their 13 matches. In the cycle for 2021-2023, they begin with the two Tests against Pakistan and then meet Bangladesh, England, Australia, South Africa and Sri Lanka.
Test squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (capt), Jermaine Blackwood (vice-capt), Nkrumah Bonner, Shamarh Brooks, Rahkeem Cornwall, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Jahmar Hamilton, Chemar Holder, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Jomel Warrican.
ICC World Test Championship
Pakistan tour of West Indies