West Indies have named squad for first two ODIs versus England. Firebrand opener Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis have returned for one day internationals in Barbados. West Indies captain Jason Holder has returned to ODI setup after recovering from shoulder injury. Wicket-keeper batsman Nicholas Pooran has earned call-up for maiden ODI series. Off-spinner Ashley Nurse has returned back after healing the shoulder injury sustained on India tour. West Indies are on a roll with winning first two test matches against England and aiming a clean sweep of visitors. Hosts will look to build on the success of test series for good performance in ODIs.
Five match ODI series is important for England and West Indies from the perspective of preparation for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 in England and Wales. Number 1 ODI ranked team England are one of the favourites for CWC. England have never won the premier ODI tournament before. West Indies are two time ODI world champions and have also won T20 world cup twice. Caribbean team will look to create outside chance to challenge for CWC title.
Chris Gayle has second most runs in ODI career while being second most capped player for West Indies. Gayle has scored 9727 runs from 284 appearances. His tally is right behind Brian Lara, who collected 10405 run from 299 matches. He has recorded 23 centuries, the most for a West Indian batsman. He has also compiled highest individual score by a Windies player in ODI format, 215 vs Zimbabwe in CWC 2015. Chris Gayle has also took 165 wicket in one day internationals at an average of.35.3 average and 44,3 strike rate.
Nicholas Pooran is rewarded for good performance in 8 T20Is he has played, scoring 148 runs at average of 24.66 with an attacking fifty against India. Marlon Samuels, Carlos Brathwaite, Roston Chase, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Kieran Powell and Sunil Ambris who played in Bangladesh series are left out. ODI series will start on 20th February 2019 at Kensington Oval in Barbados with second match on 22nd February 2019 at same ground.
Chairman of selectors Courtney Browne said: “As we continue our Cricket World Cup preparations, the upcoming series against the top ranked ODI side is a great opportunity for us to gauge where we are as a team. This allows us to identify any areas that need addressing relating to selection and also helps the coaching staff to fine tune their game strategy. We welcome the return of Chris Gayle who missed the last two series and Ashley Nurse from injury. We are pleased to introduce Nicholas Pooran to the ODI cricket for the first time. He is clearly a young player with undoubted talent and we believe he can add value to our middle order. Shannon Gabriel remains very much in our World Cup plans but with a heavy workload expected in the Test series he will be considered for selection later in the ODI series.”
West Indies Squad (First 2 ODIs): Jason Holder (capt), Fabian Allen, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas