Surprised not to see Kemar Roach in Windies playing XI: Courtney Walsh

Roach was available for selection for the second Test.

Kemar Roach Windies v England
LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 08: Kemar Roach of the West Indies. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

Former Windies fast bowler Courtney Walsh was surprised not to see Kemar Roach in the Windies playing XI for the second Test against India in Hyderabad. The Windies made two changes to their XI for the second and final Test, with skipper Jason Holder coming back into the side, and spinner Jomel Warrican finding a spot as well. However, the fact that the experienced Kemar Roach was left out of the second Test has raised eyebrows, and Walsh feels the Windies might have missed a trick by benching the paceman.

Last week, Roach had to unexpectedly fly back home after the demise of his grandmother. He, therefore, missed the first Test in Rajkot, which the Windies lost heavily. The visitors were looking forward to the experienced speedster returning to the side for the second Test. Roach was indeed available for selection, but the Windies management has decided against playing him in Hyderabad.

Speaking to ESPNcricinfo, Courtney Walsh said, “I was a bit surprised Kemar Roach wasn’t featured, but maybe they’ve looked at the wicket and decided that two seamers it will be. I would have probably played the extra seamer depending on the wicket – Roach with his experience and trying to go for the win. But they have opted to play two seamers, so let’s see how that works.”

Kemo Paul and Sherman Lewis dropped

Currently, the Windies have their skipper Jason Holder as well as Shannon Gabriel as pace bowling options. Holder had to miss out the first Test as he wasn’t fully fit, with Kraigg Brathwaite taking up captaincy duties in his absence. Gabriel, on the other hand, is one of the Windies’ most exciting fast bowlers in recent times. Keemo Paul and Sherman Lewis were dropped from the side making way for Holder and Warrican.

Kemar Roach, however, was seen practicing in the nets, which means his fitness was not an issue. Therefore, leaving him out has surprised many, including Ajit Agarkar who said, “Little bit surprised because you want to win the Test match to equal the series, so you want your bowling to be strong as well. But I think they’ve gone with a bit more insurance with their batting. Hopefully, this works for them with the extra spinner, because they will be bowling last on this pitch.”

The Windies won the toss and elected to bat first. At Lunch on Day 1, they were 86 for 3. Shai Hope was dismissed on the stroke of Lunch after he unsuccessfully resorted to the Decision Review System (DRS).

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