Tracking West Indies Test openers for the last seven years

Thu, Nov 18, '21

by KRISSANIA YOUNG

Commentary

The list of batsmen to have opened for the West Indies in Tests, in at least two innings, over the last seven years reads: Kraigg Brathwaite, Devon Smith, Shai Hope, Rajendra Chandrika, Leon Johnson, Kieran Powell and John Campbell. During this period, the West Indies contested 58 matches in which Kraigg Brathwaite was stuck at the other end (except for a solitary innings in Abu Dhabi against Pakistan in 2016) witnessing it all.

In the South Africa-hosted three-match Test series which spanned December 2014 to January 2015, Devon Smith was set to make one of his many comebacks to the West Indies Test team. This time, after three and a half years. Smith would open in all three encounters, as well as the 1st and 2nd Tests of England’s trip to the Caribbean in the subsequent series. Unfortunately hampered by his 23.22 average and just the one half-century in the period, the Grenadian was dropped… again.

Shai Hope would therefore take his place for a debut appearance in the 3rd Test. And despite scores of 5 and 9, he would keep his place for the 1st game of the two-match series against Australia at home, only a month later. But with another debut being handed out, this time to Rajendra Chandrika, who was replacing Marlon Samuels for the 2nd Test, Hope was pushed to number 5 to accommodate the Guyanese.

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