ROSEAU, Dominica, CMC – West Indies selectors have kept faith with the same squad of 13 for the decisive third and final Test of the current series against Pakistan, starting on Wednesday at Windsor Park, Dominica.
Buoyed by the side’s stunning 107-run victory in the second Test which ended last Thursday at Kensington Oval in Barbados, the selection panel will choose from the same group of players that have served throughout the three-Test series which is currently level at 1-1.
Courtney Browne and his fellow selectors will, however, face some key decisions ahead of the crucial match which West Indies will be aiming to win to claim their first Test series victory in four years and over a side ranked higher for the first time in eight years.
They will have to decide if to offer a reprieve to the inexperienced, left-handed Guyanese middle-order duo of Shimron Hetmyer and Vishaul Singh, instead of going for greater stability in the more experienced Jermaine Blackwood.
Though they have promised much, Hetmyer has had scores of 11, 20, 1 and 22, and Singh 9, 9, 3 and 32, hardly reassuring figures, but they have given brief glimpses of what they may be able to accomplish given more opportunities.
The 25-year-old Blackwood has played 22 Tests, gathering 1,128 runs at an average of 31.33, not overpowering stats, but in a side light on experience, he could offer a bit more of a competitive edge.
The selectors will also have to consider if the current bowling combination will be effective enough, especially if the Windsor Park pitch is typically unyielding.
Though they bowled the team to victory in Bridgetown, skipper Jason Holder, Shannon Gabriel, Alzarri Joseph and Devendra Bishoo would crave a little more help from Miguel Cummins, particularly if the local ground-staff fails again to cooperate.
This too, may impact on the batting of the side meaning leaving out one of the batsmen to play five bowlers and asking Holder to shoulder more responsibility with the willow.
Jason Holder (captain), Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kieran Powell, Vishaul Singh