The West Indies cricket board on Monday announced the squad for the first practice game against the touring Indian team. The twelve member squad will be led by Leon Johnson who has made ten international appearances from the year 2008 to 2015. He last a played a Test match in January 2015 against South Africa. Johnson made his One-day international debut in 2008 but in 7 years he has marked attendance in only 6 ODIs.
The 28-year-old left-handed batsman will lead the team in a two-day affair which will be played at Basseterre. This will be the first practice match as the visiting team will play one more practice match at the same venue from July 14 to July 16.
The team also includes right-hand batsman Shai Hope who made his Test debut last year against England. In six test matches played till now, he has a poor average of 15.54 but selectors will like to have a look at him again as he just 22 years old and still has a long way to go. The Jamaican boy Jermaine Blackwood too has been selected for the practice match. He has played 15 Test matches and 2 ODI’s till now. Both the youngsters have a chance to present their case in front of selectors.
The Indian team is scheduled to play four test matches during the month of July-August. Jason Holder will likely retain his role as the captain of the squad which will be announced in few days to come.
Indian team last traveled to West Indies in the years 2013 where West Indies, India, and Sri Lanka played a tri-series. Team India emerged as the winner of the Tri-series by defeating Sri Lanka in the final match. Talking of a test series, it was in 2011 when Indian team last toured for a complete series. Virat Kohli was too part of the squad but he could only score 76 runs in 5 innings he played. Now he is leading the Indian team. The West Indies tour will be a test for young Indian team led by a young captain Virat Kohli.
West Indies Cricket Board President XI squad: Leon Johnson (c), Marquino Mindley, Vishaul Singh, Jomel Warrican, Jermaine Blackwood, Rajendra Chandrika, Roston Chase, Jason Dawes, Shane Dowrich, Shai Hope, Damion Jacobs and Keon Joseph