Kieran Powell makes a comeback to Test cricket after 3 years
Among the other new faces in the Test side, the names of Vishaul Singh and Shimron Heytmer stand out.
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The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) announced the 13-member squad for the First Test to be played against Pakistan. West Indies would be hosting the visitors in a three-match Test series. Among the 13 names announced in the squad, the name of Kieran Powell stands as a surprise. The hard-hitting young batsman has last played a Test match for West Indies almost 3 years ago against New Zealand.
The chairman of selectors, Mr. Courtney Brown, looked pleased with the players selected on board for the Test. The hosts have had a dismal run in the series thus far as they have lost the ODI and the T20I series. Brown noted that they know they have a young Test squad. However, the selectors are backing those players to excel given the fact that they would be playing at home.
“We have a young Test squad which was admirably led by Jason Holder during the last series and, though there are some noticeable absentees, we believe that the players will give a good account of themselves especially in their own backyard,” quoted Courtney Brown.
Talking about Kieran Powell, he said that the 27-year-old could be in contention for the opening slot. Powell had finished as the leading run-getter in the domestic one-day setup this year. He amassed 513 runs at an average of over 64 in 8 innings. Earlier, Powell had left cricket to pursue a Baseball career in USA. However, he soon came back to feature in the Caribbean Premier League and that scripted his way back to the national side.
“We are happy to be able to give a recall to Kieran Powell for one of the opening slots, although he did not have the best regional first-class season. He showed for the President’s XI that his experience can add value to our team. West Indies cricket has invested heavily in him over the years and with the void of openers within the Caribbean, the panel felt a need to fast track him through our A-Team programme last year with a view in helping him to bridge that gap.” said Browne on Powell.
Among the other new faces in the Test side, the names of Vishaul Singh and Shimron Heytmer stand out. Heytmer was the skipper of the West Indies U19 team that lifted the U19 World Cup last year. Vishaul Singh, the young all-rounder from Guyana, had scored a brilliant 135 in the tour game recently and that resulted in his selection for the match.
“Vishaul has been one of the more consistent batsmen in the Regional 4-Day Tournament over the last few seasons and had a very good A-Team series against Sri Lanka last year. His hundred over the weekend for the WICB President’s XI against the Pakistanis helped to fortify in our minds that he has a place in our squad. He gives us the option of a solid middle-order batsman around whom our more free-scoring players can bat,” conceded Browne.
The first Test will commence on Friday at the Sabina Park.
West Indies Squad for First Test:
Jason Holder (capt.), Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich (wk), Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kieran Powell, Vishaul Singh