Sir Clive Lloyd believes selectors may have erred in overlooking young fast bowler Chemar Holder for the Test tour of Bangladesh, and has also questioned the wisdom of including three left-arm spinners in the 15-man squad.
The legendary former West Indies captain said playing on the flat Bangladesh pitches would have been a developmental experience for the 22-year-old Holder, building on his debut on the bouncier pitches on the tour of New Zealand last month.
“I was a little bit disappointed that the young Holder boy wasn’t chosen because you don’t want to take people on tours where the wickets are all bouncy and flying around,” said the 76-year-old icon, speaking in a radio interview.
“I think he had a good little spell in New Zealand and he would learn to bowl on flat wickets, and I think that is where he would get a lot of experience.
“So I really thought they (selectors) made a little mistake there.”
Barbadian Holder is a quick right-armer, who toured England last July for the three-Test series without breaking into the final XI, before making his debut in the second Test against New Zealand at Wellington.
He snapped up two wickets in his only outing as West Indies crashed to an innings and 12-run defeat to lose the series 2-0.
While Holder was named in the 15-man squad for the one-day series in Bangladesh, chief selector Roger Harper said he was left out of the Test squad because his panel had focussed on an attack “more suited to the conditions which we are likely to come up against”.
Kemar Roach, Shannon Gabriel and Alzarri Joseph are the specialist fast bowlers included in the Test squad.
Due to the spin-friendly conditions anticipated, selectors have meanwhile opted for three left-arm spinners and an off-spinner, a move about which Sir Clive expressed misgivings.
“You probably need two left-arm spinners and an off-spinner and you would’ve had Holder as a little backup,” contended Sir Clive a former convenor of selectors.
“Three left-arm spinners? They probably know more than I do at the moment that left-arm spinners get wickets against the Bangladeshis.”
Both the Test and one-day squad have been depleted for the tour, with the withdrawal of 10 players due to what Cricket West Indies has labelled “COVID related concerns or personal fears” about the pandemic situation in Bangladesh.
As a result, several uncapped players will be making the trip, leaving West Indies short of experience on what is expected to be a difficult tour.
Sir Clive said the key for the Caribbean side, especially in the Test series, would be for players to focus on concentrating for long periods.
“It should be a good contest if we can get our players to play to the best of their ability and play five-day cricket. You can’t just go out and play T20 cricket in five days, that’s not it,” Sir Clive pointed out.
“T20 is an exhibition and the Test match is an examination, so the point is concentration. You’re going to do well if you can concentrate. All the great players have done well because of their concentration and applying themselves to the task.”
The last group of West Indies players were scheduled to leave the region today for the January 20 to February 15 tour, and are set to arrive in Bangladesh on Sunday. (CMC)