Sabina Park to be kind to WINDIES

Thu, Aug 29, '19

by KRISSANIA YOUNG

Commentary

Jamaica should provide the West Indies with a great opportunity to get off the mark in the ICC World Test Championships, in the ultimate battle of India’s MyTeam11 2019 full tour of the Caribbean. Considering that subsequent to the conclusion of this series, the West Indies will have more away battles remaining to contest than they will have at home in the tournament. While, the Caribbean side has seen their bowling attack strengthened by the inclusion of Keemo Paul, they will once more field a weakened batting line-up in the continued absence of wicket-keeper batsman Shane Dowrich. The full squad for the 2nd Test reads; Jason Holder (c), Kraigg Brathwaite, Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Darren Bravo, Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel, John Campbell, Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul, Shamarh Brooks, Jahmar Hamilton and Rahkeem Cornwall.

It should be business as usual where the pitch is concerned—compared to the uncertainties that surrounded the Antiguan wicket—as the curators in Jamaica have absolutely no reason to deviate from the fast-bowler friendly tracks they have reverted to preparing over the last couple of seasons. Therefore, along with the availability of a quality seamer in Keemo Paul, Jason Holder has suddenly retained all the ingredients of that winning formula both he and Reifer have been referencing—fast-bowlers, quality in those bowlers and a quick wicket. A formula that has ensured that the West Indies had remained undefeated in 75% of their games over the last two home seasons (prior to this series)—boasting a 62% win rate in that period.   

This does not automatically eliminate the temptation the West Indies will face; where, prior to the start of the first Test, a time when Paul was still in contention to participate—it was a toss-up between the Guyanese and Rahkeem Cornwall for a place in the team. This time around, the series is on the line and with the blatant lack of another wicket-taker and the abysmal batting display from the West Indies being, arguably, the biggest talking points from the first Test, both young men are in contention to feature come Friday. Not one or the other, because dare I say Cornwall gets into this team as a specialist batsman? Question is, for whom?

Shamarh Brooks could make way for the Antiguan. Yet, how could the West Indies justify dropping a man they saw so much promise in; so much so that he was  promoted to that coveted no. 3 spot ahead of the experience of Darren Bravo, the class of Shai Hope and the talent of Shimron Hetmyer… after a single game? 

Predicted XI: Brathwaite, Campbell, Hope, Brooks, Hetmyer, Chase, Cornwall, Holder, Paul, Roach, Gabriel. 

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