Brandon King and Hayden Walsh Jr. – the top run-scorer and the top wicket-taker respectively at the just concluded CPL – have been given their maiden international call-ups by the West Indies, who have rang the changes under the new limited-overs set-up which has Kieron Pollard at the helm.
King and Walsh are part of the ODI and T20I squads that will play against Afghanistan in November, and are among the many beneficiaries of standout CPL performances – a list which also includes Lendl Simmons – making a T20I comeback after over two years. Also on the T20I comeback trail is wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin.
King, the 24-year-old opening batsman who was a ninth-round pick in the CPL draft, took the tournament by storm smashing 496 runs to lead Amazon Guyana Warriors’ unprecedented 11-match winning streak, which was eventually snapped in the final by the Barbados Tridents.
The Tridents had their own little-known entity turned sensation in leg-spinner Walsh, who has played international cricket for USA. And now, after a dream run of 22 wickets in 9 matches at the CPL, he finds himself in the West Indies outfit.
Joining the pair of King and Walsh Jr. in using the CPL as a launchpad is all-rounder Romario Shepherd, who has been picked only in the ODI squad. King’s teammate at Guyana, Shepherd’s most prominent role was with the ball, but he also showed glimpses of his big-hitting abilities too in the limited chances he got.
Meanwhile, Carlos Brathwaite’s fortunes have taken quite a downturn. From being the captain in West Indies’ previous T20I assignment against India, he has now failed to find a place at all in both the ODI and T20I squads. Also notably missing from the India series is Sunil Narine, whose exclusion may have to do with the finger injury he picked up during the CPL. There’s no Chris Gayle either, who appeared to be making his farewell after being dismissed in the third ODI against India but didn’t confirm a potential retirement. Andre Russell is missing as well.
West Indies’ Test squad, in comparison to the the drastic overhaul of the white-ball set-up, is relatively familiar with Jason Holder in charge. Although that hasn’t left them immune to change, especially in the bowling department where Alzarri Joseph makes his return – to all formats – along with left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican, whereas Shannon Gabriel is out injured.
Darren Bravo is the notable exclusion from the batting department, with the left-hander having scored only 47 runs in the Test series against India.
The Afghanistan-West Indies series, which will be played in Dehradun in India, gets underway with the three-match T20I series on November 5, 7 and 9. This is followed by three ODIs on November 13, 16 and 18, after which the two teams will play the one-off Test from November 27 to December 1.
West Indies T20I squad: Kieron Pollard (c), Nicholas Pooran, Evin Lewis, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Sherfane Rutherford, Jason Holder, Lendl Simmons, Fabian Allen, Hayden Walsh Jr., Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Denesh Ramdin, Kesrick Williams, Alzarri Joseph
ODI squad: Kieron Pollard (c), Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Sunil Ambris, Nicholas Pooran, Brandon King, Roston Chase, Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh Jr., Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Keemo Paul, Romario Shepherd, Alzarri Joseph
Test squad: Jason Holder (c), Shai Hope, John Campbell, Kraigg Brathwaite, Shimron Hetmyer, Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Sunil Ambris, Jomel Warrican, Rahkeem Cornwall, Kemar Roach, Keemo Paul, Alzarri Joseph