Dwayne Smith’s stop-start international career has got another restart after he was named in the West Indies 15-man party for the imminent One-Day International tour of India.
Smith, 31, who is currently in India playing in the Champions League Twenty20 Tournament for the Chennai Super Kings, did not feature in the recent series against Bangladesh which the West Indies won, nor was he a part of the line-up against the touring New Zealanders which the regional side lost.
Smith, who made his debut for the West Indies ten years ago in South Africa, has since played ten Tests, 91 ODIs and 30 Twenty20 Internationals. But he has averaged an abysmal 17.07 in ODIs with six half-centuries; 18.62 in T20s with three 50s and 24.61 in Tests with one score over 50 – a debut century at Cape Town. Smith has, however, shown improved international form since gaining the opportunity to bat higher up the order.
Also recalled to the West Indies squad is Marlon Samuels, who for all his undoubted quality, has underachieved since debuting as a 19-year-old against Sri Lanka in Nairobi in 2000. Like Smith, the stylish Jamaican right-hander did not feature against Bangladesh in either Tests or ODIs. Samuels has previously played 35 ODIs against India scoring 886 runs at an average of 28.58 with one century and seven half-centuries. Twenty-seven of his ODIs against the Indians have been in India where he averages 33.30, scoring the century and six of his seven fifties.
Guyanese left-hander Leon Johnson has also been included in the touring squad. He has been out of the one-day squad since August 2008 when he made his debut in a series that featured hosts Canada and Bermuda.
Former Barbados captain Kirk Edwards has been dropped, paying the price for a poor showing against lowly Bangladesh in both Tests and the One-Day Internationals where he registered scores of 10, 0, 10, 16 and 2. In the preceding Tests in the Caribbean against the Kiwis, Edwards fared slightly better scoring 0, 14, 55, 68 and 10 in the three-match series.
Also in the One-Day International party is fast-bowler Jerome Taylor. The talented Jamaican speedster last played an ODI in 2010 and was missing from the team prior to this year after a spate of injuries and fitness concerns.
Big-hitting opening batsman Chris Gayle will miss the tour because of nagging injury. The 35-year-old batsman had missed out on the second Test in St Lucia against Bangladesh citing personal reasons.
Yet again there is no place for the region’s best batsman, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, though the 40-year-old left-hander has made it clear he is available for the 50-over format. He has the credentials of 8,778 ODI runs at an average of 41.60 with 11 centuries and 59 fifties at the commendable strike rate of 70.74.
Chanderpaul last played an ODI in the 2011 World Cup where he ironically top-scored for the West Indies with 44 in a losing effort against Pakistan.
The West Indies selectors have named Sunil Narine as their only front-line spinner for the tour. Narine, who has recently opted for franchise cricket in India rather than national duty, gets the nod over left-hand orthodox spinners Sulieman Benn and Nikita Miller. Miller was named in the line-up for the shortened form of the game against the Bangladeshis but did not play.
There will be no respite for Denesh Ramdin as he is the only specialist wicketkeeper in the squad. The Test skipper has been the first-choice keeper in all three formats of the game and is likely to fulfill the role on this tour, as well as that of South Africa that follows immediately afterwards. However, Lendl Simmons and Darren Bravo are both in the squad and can be called upon in the case of emergency.
The first of the five ODIs is on October 8 in Kochi.
Squad: Dwayne Bravo (cpt), Dwayne Smith, Lendl Simmons, Leon Johnson, Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Marlon Samuels, Darren Sammy, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor, Jason Holder, Sunil Narine and Ravi Rampaul.
ODI tour schedule:
Fri 3: India-A vs West Indies – Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
Sun 5: India-A vs West Indies – Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai
Wed 8: 1st One-day International – Nehru Stadium, Kochi
Sat 11: 2nd One-day International – Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, Delhi
Tue 14: 3rd One-day International – Reddy Stadium, Visakhapatnam
Fri 17: 4th One-day International – HPCA Stadium, Dharmasala
Mon 20: 5th One-day International – Eden Gardens, Kolkata
Wed 22: Only Twenty20 International – Barabati Stadium, Cuttack
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