Hetmyer still out on fitness grounds, but chief selector Desmond Haynes says he remains in West Indies’ plans
Shimron Hetmyer was left out of the squad on fitness grounds once again. Earlier this month, West Indies head coach Phil Simmons was critical of Hetmyer’s attitude towards physical fitness, saying it was “heart-wrenching” to see him fail to reach the minimum standard. Haynes, however, stressed that Hetmyer is still part of West Indies’ plans moving forward. The 25-year-old batter is currently part of the Quetta Gladiators squad at the PSL.
“What we need to do is we need to put our arm around these guys and let them know that we are interested in their development… to also [make them] understand that there’s a level of fitness that is required to play at international level,” Haynes said. “But Hetmyer is in our plans. There’s no question about it. Hetmyer was ill this month at the beginning of the year and obviously we’ve got a squad of people here who are doing well at present in the T20 tournament. So, we decided we will keep them for the tournament going to India.”
“This year both Evin and Hetmyer had illness and I think Evin was recovering from Covid,” Haynes said. “I just want to let everybody know that Evin is still in our plans. Evin is not part of the T20 squad that was selected before I took on the role of a lead selector. We’ve done well against the England T20 team and I believe that it was right of us to give these guys a chance.”
Dwayne Bravo’s international retirement after the T20 World Cup last year stripped the side of an experienced all-round option, but Powell and Hosein have since stepped up, impressing Hayes. Dominic Drakes, who had a breakout CPL 2021 and then got gigs in the IPL and T10 league, is also part of the squad for the T20I leg of the India tour.
“Yeah, I’m very impressed with the guys,” Haynes said. “I liked the innings that Powell played – I think that was fantastic. Here was a guy who struggled to play spin, I was told, and then he came in and the first shot [with which] he got off the mark was a sweep for six. England then were planning to bowl a lot of googlies at him and he just paddle-swept. Also, he’s a strong guy too; when it was time to use his power coming down to the end, he played very well and I was very, very impressed with him.
“I was also very impressed with Akeal in that one run-defeat. He came in there and everybody thought it was over. He played exceptionally well and that’s what you want because in T20 cricket you want the guy batting up to No.11 to be able to hit a six.”
Squad: Kieron Pollard (capt), Nicholas Pooran (vice-capt), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Dominic Drakes, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Brandon King, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Kyle Mayers, Hayden Walsh Jr