West Indies selectors announced their team for the forthcoming three Test series which will be hosted by England in May-June 2012.
The 15 men squad will be led by the all rounder, Darren Sammy as the selectors have shown their confidence in the off spinner, Shane Shillingford who has exhibited tremendous form in the recently concluded series against Australia.
Shillingford was the highest wicket taking spinner in the series and grabbed 10 in the last and final Test played on April 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27, 2012 at Windsor Park, Roseau, Dominica. He achieved the feat of taking 10 wickets in a single match by a spineer, for the Windies, after 1966 when Lance Gibbs had the honour of holding so many.
Shane Shillingford grasped 14 wickets in two matches at an excellent average of 26.14 runs per wicket with the best of 6 for 119 in an innings and 10 for 219 in a match.
The West Indies Cricket Board chairman of selectors, Clyde Butts, hailed the performance of Shillingford against the Kangaroos and anticipated that the off spinner will produce better results in England. Butts said
“Shillingford has bowled very well against the Australians and we expect a lot from him in England.”
Denesh Ramdin (wicket keeper) has won the confidence of the selectors which has resulted in the ouster of Carlton Baugh who was unable to impress with the bat whereas Ramdin has done well previously both with the gloves and the bat. Ramdin has appeared in 42 Test for West Indies, scored 1482 runs at an average of 22.80, the best of 166 with the assistance of 8 fifties and has taken 119 catches behind the wickets with three stumping.
Ramdin was doing well when he got himself injured in the camp before the series against Australia but has recovered fully now. Butts confirmed that the selection of Ramdin was purely on the merit as he was equally good with the bat and behind the stumps. He commented,
“Baugh has been good behind the stumps, but his batting has not quite lived up to expectations, hence the selection of Ramdin.”
West Indies selectors have included a young fast bowler, Shannon Terry Gabriel who has been performing well recently in the domestic tournaments. Gabriel was born on April 28, 1988 in Trinidad, a right arm medium fast bowler and a right hand batsman. He has played for Trinidad & Tobago, Sagicor High Performance Centre, West Indies A and Trinindad &Tobago Under-19’s.
The 24-year-old has played 23 first –class matches, taken 63 wickets averaging 29.82 runs per wicket, the best of 5 for 78 in an innings and 7 for 126 in a match. West Indies will be visiting England in the first half of the season which responds well for the quick bowlers and Butts hoped that Gabriel will be instrumental for the team. He further commented,
“We are going to England early in the season, where the conditions tend to favour the quick bowlers more than the spinners. Young Gabriel continues to impress the selectors in both regional and A-team cricket, and we feel it is a good time to introduce him to the team. We feel he will be an asset to the team in England and has a bright future in West Indies cricket.”
Assad Fudadin is another young batsman who has won the hearts of the selectors and has confirmed his berth in the team. He took part in 48 First-class games, scored 2359 runs averaging 31.87, the best of 108 with 11 fifties.
West Indies Test Squad against England:
Darren Sammy (capt); Kirk Edwards (vice-capt); Adrian Barath; Darren Bravo; Shivnarine Chanderpaul; Narsingh Deonarine; Fidel Edwards; Assad Fudadin; Shannon Gabriel; Kieran Powell; Kemar Roach; Denesh Ramdin; Ravi Rampaul; Marlon Samuels; Shane Shillingford.
The first Test of the series will be played at the famous Lord’s, London which will commence from May 17, 2012 and the selectors believe that West Indies team will produce positive results in the series.