West Indies call-up uncapped left-handers for opening India Test
July 8, 2023 10:10 AM
West Indies have called up the uncapped pair of Jamaican Kirk McKenzie and Dominican Alick Athanaze for the opening Test against India starting next Friday in Dominica.
Both are left-handed upper-order batsmen while Athanaze can also provide an option with his right arm off-breaks on his home track of Windsor Park.
The 22-year-old opener McKenzie had scores of 91 and 86 during the West Indies 'A' tour of Bangladesh in May while Athanaze, batting at number four, had an 85 and a 45 in the same series.
"We were very impressed with the approach to the batsmanship of McKenzie and Athanaze on the recent 'A' Team tour of Bangladesh," said lead selector Desmond Haynes.
"These are two young players who got good scores and played with great maturity, and we believe they deserve an opportunity," he added.
There are recalls for all rounder Rahkeem Cornwall, who played his last Test in November 2021, and left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican who was in the squad which toured Zimbabwe but missed the last tour of South Africa in February.
Left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie is unavailable for selection as he is undergoing rehabilitation from injury.
"We are without Motie, who is doing his rehabilitation, and this has created an opportunity for Warrican and Cornwall in the spin bowling department. They have both played at Test match level before and are capable of doing the job," said Haynes.
The India mini-tour consists of two Test matches with the second Test in Port of Spain, Trinidad from July 20-24.
The teams will then face off in three one-day internationals, the opening two in Barbados and the final match back in Trinidad.
The tour concludes with five T20 internationals played in Trinidad, Guyana and then the final pair of matches in Lauderhill, Florida on August 12 and 13.
West Indies squad for first Test v India: 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
Travelling Reserves: Tevin Imlach, Akeem Jordan.