Andre Russell has ruled himself out of West Indies’ first two T20Is against India in Florida. The allrounder had only just returned to action after knee surgery, but a CWI press release on Friday said he experienced “some discomfort” while playing in the Global T20 Canada and then expressed his unavailability to the West Indies selectors. Middle-order batsman Jason Mohammed has been named as replacement.
“He [Mohammed] is a player with lots of experience in all three formats and – having done well for Trinidad & Tobago as well as Guyana Amazon Warriors,” Floyd Reifer, West Indies interim head coach, said.
“It is not easy to the fill the shoes of someone like Andre Russell, who has dominated T20 cricket all over the world and helped West Indies win the ICC T20 World Cup on two occasions. We believe Jason is capable of good performances and we back him to perform at this level and win games as well.”
Russell was last seen in a West Indies shirt in the World Cup, but after playing four matches, his knees gave out and he had to be replaced. The 31-year old played his first – and only – match since recovering from that injury on July 25 but he didn’t bowl or bat in it.
Mohammed, who last played for West Indies in the ODI series against Bangladesh in July last year, was Trinidad & Tobago’s highest run-scorer last season in the four-day domestic tournament. The 32-year old captained a weakened West Indies side that toured Pakistan for a T20I series last year, where he made just 28 runs in three games. He has played nine T20Is and averages 18.
The first two T20Is against India are scheduled to be held at the Broward County Stadium in Florida on Saturday and Sunday. The third and final T20I will be played at the Guyana National Stadium on Tuesday. (ESPNCricinfo)