Chief selector Harper convinced makeshift Windies can be competitive in Bangladesh


Cricket West Indies chief of selectors Roger Harper is confident the team will put in a competitive showing, in Bangladesh, despite the absence of several regular first-teamers.

Team captains Jason Holder, Kieron Pollard, and Roston Chase were among 12 players opting not to go on the Bangladesh tour due to Covid-19 concerns.  The list includes Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, and Nicholas Pooran. Fabian Allen and Shane Dowrich will be unavailable because of personal reasons.

With the first team players missing Kraigg Brathwaite will lead the Test team, with Jermaine Blackwood assigned as his deputy.  Trinidad & Tobago and West Indies A team captain, Jason Mohammed, will lead the ODI team with Sunil Ambris as vice-captain.

The absence of the A-list players will see Kavem Hodge, a right-handed top-order batsman, called to the Test squad for the first time.  Left-handed opener Shayne Moseley and all-rounder Kyle Mayers will now feature in the first team for the first time, after making trips to England and New Zealand as reserves earlier this year.

Two other players will earn their first call-ups for the ODI squad — Akeal Hosein, a left-arm spinner allrounder; and Kjorn Ottley, a left-handed top-order batsman.

Despite coming off the back of dismal Test performances in England and then New Zealand, where they lost both matches by an innings, Harper believes the desire to prove themselves as good enough to play at the highest level could see the stand-in team put in a strong shift.

“Touring Bangladesh is not easy.  Bangladesh is a team that plays well in its own conditions but I really believe that the group of players that we put together, the squad for both the Test series and ODIs, will be competitive and give a good account of themselves,” Harper told members of the media on Tuesday.

“I think we can come away with some positive results from this series.  Bangladesh plays extremely well in one-day cricket, so the players will have to play well be at the top of their games and make smart decisions,” he added. (Sportsmax)