Fast bowler Shannon Gabriel has been left out of the West Indies 13-man squad to face South Africa in the first Betway Test match at the Darren Sammy Cricket Stadium, starting on Thursday (June 10).
Gabriel is unavailable for selection due to injury. In his stead, youngster Jayden Seales has been included in the squad that also sees the recall of Shai Hope and Kieran Powell. Hope last played Test cricket in England in July last year, while Powell’s last Test appearance was in Bangladesh in December, 2018.
Cricket West Indies Chief Selector Roger Harper said the 19-year-old Seales earned his selection.
“Jayden Seales is young, very enthusiastic and has a big heart,” Harper explained. “In the ‘Best v Best’ matches, he bowled with pace, got movement and has displayed the ability to take wickets. We think he is capable of adding potency to the bowling attack.”
With regards to Powell, Harper said: “Kieran Powell we know is a very capable batsman who we expect to add quality and depth to the batting department. He put himself in the mix with his performance in the Best v Best match.
“Shai Hope has performed very well in the red ball matches he has played, following on the back of his highly successful One-Day International series against Sri Lanka, so he has forced his way into the squad by performance.”
Harper said the squad was selected with the intention of building on the recent performances against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka that have resulted in the West Indies climbing up to sixth on the ICC team rankings.
“The aim is to continue to build on the performances of the last two Test series and to keep improving as a Test team,” he said.
“We must continue the process of working hard, playing with great passion, playing with determination and a great desire to succeed. Doing that consistently will bring us the right results. The training camp gave the players the opportunity to prepare for the Betway Test series in all departments, considering that no real red-ball cricket has been played since the series against Sri Lanka in March.”
The full squad comprises Kraigg Brathwaite (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood (Vice-Captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach and Jayden Seales.
The second Test match in the series will be played at the same venue on June 18-22. The series will be contested for the Sir Vivian Richards Trophy.