Kirk McKenzie and Alick Athanaze have never played for the West Indies before, but they will be part of their 13-person team for the first Test against India in Dominica. Rahkeem Cornwall, an all-rounder who played his last Test in Galle in November 2021, and Jomel Warrican, a left-arm spinner who missed the South Africa tour in February, return to the national team.
Full squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (Captain), Jermaine Blackwood (Vice Captain), Alick Athanaze, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kirk McKenzie, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach, Jomel Warrican
Tevin Imlach and Akeem Jordan have travel reservations.
“The way McKenzie and Athanaze batted on the recent ‘A’ Team tour of Bangladesh really impressed us,” said lead selection Desmond Haynes. “These are two young players who played well and got good scores, so we think they deserve a chance.”
Gudakesh Motie, who spins the ball with his left arm, wasn’t accessible. “We don’t have Motie right now because he’s in rehab. This gives Warrican and Cornwall a chance in the spin bowling department.” Both of them have played at the Test match level before, so Haynes knows they can do the job.
Haynes also said that Jayden Seales and Kyle Mayers weren’t ready to go back to playing red-ball cricket just yet. “Jayden Seales came to camp while he was recovering from surgery, and he has made good progress. But we didn’t think he was ready to go back yet, and we don’t want to put him at risk right now. Kyle Mayers was also thought about, but he has some niggles, so it’s best not to put him through the stress of a five-day match at this point.
“Looking ahead to the series, we know it will be hard because it’s the start of a new ICC Test Match Championship run. We want to make things better and move up the ladder.”
After their pre-series camp at Antigua’s Coolidge Cricket Ground ends on July 9, the West Indies team will go to Dominica.