PREVIEW:Windies trio aim to bring A game
Bridgetown, Barbados, CMC – West Indies A will face India A in the opening four-day Digicel “Test” starting here Saturday, with three players looking to hoping to impress selectors with the hope of gaining a recall to the senior team.
Openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Lendl Simmons, along with leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo are all expected to line up against the touring Indians at Kensington Oval, in the side led by Veerasammy Permaul.
And with senior West Indies due to face England in a limited overs series later this month and host New Zealand in a Test and limited overs series immediately following, the trio will be focused on dominating.
“The A Team serves several purposes, and sometimes players lose form, and this series will be a chance for players like Bishoo and Brathwaite to regain their form and look to get back into the senior side. They are both young, talented players and they have a lot to offer West Indies cricket,” assistant coach Stuart Williams explained.
“In the case of Simmons, he had an injury and he will want to use this series to prove his fitness and readiness to return. He was excellent for West Indies in limited-overs cricket last year and he will want to get back in the groove and re-start his international career.”
The 19-year-old Brathwaite has played nine Tests but was dropped after failing to score in three of his last four innings, during the recent series against Australia.
Simmons, meanwhile, was forced to undergo surgery after suffering a broken finger back in February during the Regional first class championship, and is now returning to action.
The aggressive right-hander has been one of the Windies most successful one-day batsmen over the last year, accumulating a century and two half-centuries in his last seven innings.
Bishoo has served as West Indies’ frontline spinner since last year’s World Cup on the subcontinent but loss of form against Australia saw him miss out on the Test tour to England.
The three players are among eight with international experience in the 13-man squad and will face an experienced Indian side that includes the likes of Rohit Sharma who has already played 80 ODIs and Abhinav Mukund who has played six Tests.
“We have a great bunch of players and it is clear we have a very good team spirit. We have formed a good unit and everyone is familiar with each other,” said Williams, the former Leeward Islands and West Indies opener.
“The team has in quite a few players who were part of the Sagicor High Performance Centre, as well as others who have played together for the West Indies A Team before. The players get on well with each other and there is cohesion and camaraderie.”
He added: “The Indians have brought a team with some experienced players so this series will be a good test for us. It is always good to compete against good, strong opposition and push yourself to the limit. Our players recognise that this will be a ‘big’ series for them as they look to show continued development and progress.”
The Barbados contest will be the first of the three-Test series with matches also scheduled for Arnos Vale in St Vincent from June 9-12 and Beausejour Cricket Ground in St Lucia from June 16-19.
West Indies A – Veerasammy Permaul (captain), Jason Holder (vice captain), Devendra Bishoo, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Kyle Corbin, Delorn Johnson, Leon Johnson, Kevin McClean, Donovan Pagon, Lendl Simmons, Devon Thomas (Wicket-keeper)
India A – Cheteshwar Pujara (captain), Wriddhiman Saha (vice captain/wicket-keeper), Abhinav Mukund, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Sharma, Ashok Dinda, Jalaj Saxena, Parviner Awana, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Robin Bisht, Akshay Darekar, Sami Ahmed