John Campbell, Anderson Phillip in West Indies squad for first Test against England



Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall and Shai Hope among those left out

John Campbell and Anderson Phillip have been called up to West Indies’ squad for the first Test against England in Antigua next month after bright starts to the regional four-day competition.
Desmond Haynes, who was appointed as Roger Harper’s successor as lead selector earlier this year, said that he hoped his first Test squad in the role would send a message to players that performances at first-class level would be recognised with call-ups.
However, he added that he was not averse to outside-the-box thinking and had encouraged Nicholas Pooran – who is uncapped at Test level and has made only five appearances in his first-class career – to make himself available for some red-ball cricket.

“This is the message which we’re sending to the batters because we need to get our batting right,” Haynes said. “People question how strong our domestic competition is but the main fact is that if the guys are playing in it and doing well, yes, they would be up for selection.

“It’s important for these guys when they’re playing in the domestic season to do well, to catch our eye. We’re a new panel, Sars [Ramnaresh Sarwan, the other selector] and myself, and we want to see the players and make sure that when we’re judging them on their ability, they’ve got some runs as well, but also they can play a role that we want them to play.

“When the team was here, I had a conversation with Nicholas Pooran, saying to him I believe that if he can make himself available to play some red-ball cricket, I believe it will help his batting a lot. He did acknowledge the conversation. I personally want to know that players who are playing cricket for West Indies can play in any format of the game.”

Chase and Hope have both lost their places after disappointing returns with the bat in recent series. Chase averages 14.95 in his last 21 Test innings since the start of the series in England in July 2020, while Hope averages 16.28 in 14 innings in the same timeframe. Shamarh Brooks, whose last Test appearance came in New Zealand in December 2020, has also been recalled as an option in the middle order.

“We did discuss Chase,” Haynes said. “I had a chat with Roston and he realises that he has to go and do some work, and he promised me that he’s doing that. The conversation I had with Shai… I didn’t go into his batting. I’m staying far away from trying to get too involved with the coaching aspect of the game.”

Haynes added that the inclusion of a single frontline spinner – Veerasammy Permaul, who was recalled to the Test side in November after a six-year absence and took 5 for 35 in the first innings against Sri Lanka – was in part due to England’s struggles against West Indies’ pace attack in their most recent series in the Caribbean in 2019, which they lost 2-1.

“We decided to go with a left-arm spinner this time instead of Rahkeem Cornwall,” Haynes said. “We have to look at the wicket in Antigua first, but we just thought that with the opportunity that Permaul had in Sri Lanka on the last tour, getting five wickets in the Test match, we thought we’d give him another chance.

“We look at the England squad. We also look at what happened on the last tour here and the surfaces that we have to play on, and then we make a determination in places like Antigua on the combination that we’d go for. We did have a serious consideration regarding how England played here last time they were in the Caribbean.”

West Indies also selected a 12-man President’s XI squad to play England in a four-day warm-up match at the Coolidge Cricket Ground – formerly the Stanford Cricket Ground – from March 1-4.

Shane Dowrich, who made 86 for Barbados against the Leeward Islands earlier this month as he returned from a 14-month break from the game, will captain the side, with allrounder Raymon Reifer as his deputy.
Solozano, who suffered a concussion on his Test debut against Sri Lanka, will open the batting for the President’s XI while Devon Thomas is also included after two fifties and a hundred in his three first-class innings this season.

West Indies squad for first Test: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Jermaine Blackwood (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Joshua Da Silva (wk), Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Veerasammy Permaul, Anderson Phillip, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales

CWI President’s XI squad: Shane Dowrich (captain/wk), Raymon Reifer (vice-captain), Colin Archibald, Alick Athanaze, Keacy Carty, Bryan Charles, Shermon Lewis, Preston McSween, Shayne Moseley, Jeremy Solozano, Shamar Springer, Devon Thomas

Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98


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