Kraigg Brathwaite will assume captaincy of the West Indies Test team with Jermaine Blackwood as his deputy when a much-changed squad heads to Bangladesh next month.

The unexpected return to leadership for the 28-year-old comes after 12 players, including captain Jason Holder and vice-captain Roston Chase declined to take part in the tour, due to concerns over the coronavirus.  Bangladesh is noted as one of the world’s Covid-19 hots with 510,080 confirmed coronavirus cases and 7,479 deaths.  Brathwaite had been previously been replaced as vice-captain by Chase, ahead of the New Zealand tour.

The tour was sanctioned following a report from a health and safety team, which was sent on a pre-series tour of the country but that was not enough to assure the majority of the players.

Former Trinidad & Tobago and West Indies A team captain, Jason Mohammed, will lead the ODI team with Sunil Ambris as vice-captain.

The absence of the A-list players will see Kavem Hodge, the right-handed top-order batsman, called to the Test squad for the first time.  Left-handed opener Shayne Moseley and all-rounder Kyle Mayers will now feature in the first team for the first time, after making trips to England and New Zealand as reserves earlier this year.

Two players have earned their first call-ups for the ODI squad — Akeal Hosein, a left-arm spinner allrounder; and Kjorn Ottley, a left-handed top-order batsman.

 

West Indies Test Squad

Kraigg Brathwaite (captain)

Jermaine Blackwood (vice-captain)

Nkrumah Bonner

John Campbell

Rahkeem Cornwall

Joshua Da Silva

Shannon Gabriel

Kavem Hodge

Alzarri Joseph

Kyle Mayers

Shayne Moseley

Veerasammy Permaul

Kemar Roach

Raymon Reifer

Jomel Warrican

West Indies ODI Squad

Jason Mohammed (captain)

Sunil Ambris (vice-captain)

Nkrumah Bonner

Joshua Da Silva

Jahmar Hamilton

Chemar Holder

Akeal Hosein

Alzarri Joseph

Kyle Mayers

Andre McCarthy

Kjorn Ottley

Rovman Powell

Raymon Reifer

Romario Shepherd

Hayden Walsh jr

West Indies captain Jason Holder has been confirmed to be among 12 players that have declined to take part in the upcoming tour of Bangladesh due to health concerns.

Joining Holder in making themselves unavailable for the tour are vice-captain Roston Chase, T20 captain Kieron Pollard, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, and Nicholas Pooran. Fabian Allen and Shane Dowrich will be unavailable because of personal reasons.

The CWI Covid-19 policy allows any player the opportunity to decline selection because of health or safety fears, without the decision affecting their consideration for future selection.

The tour is set for January 10 to February 11.  It was only approved after recommendation by the CWI’s Medical Advisory Committee (MAC), who received a detailed report from a pre-tour visit of Bangladesh by CWI Director and Member of the CWI and ICC MAC, Dr Mansingh, and Security Manager, Paul Slowe.

It seems the precautionary measures were not enough to assuage the fears of the majority of the squad.  With 510,080 confirmed coronavirus cases and 7,479 deaths, Bangladesh is one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.  The country has, however, been hosting cricket tournaments under heavy quarantine restrictions.

The West Indies were one of the first teams to resume playing international cricket when they travelled to England in July.  The team then went to New Zealand for a series earlier this month. 

Tim Paine does not believe Australia need changes to their line-up despite their struggles with the bat in the second Test loss to India.

India completed an eight-wicket victory over Australia in Melbourne on Tuesday to level the four-Test series at 1-1.

No Australia batsman managed to score a half-century in the second Test as they were bowled out for 195 and 200 at the MCG.

Joe Burns and Travis Head are under the most pressure to keep their spots, but Paine does not believe changes are the answer.

"No, not necessarily," Paine told a news conference when asked if changes were needed.

"I just think you need to bat better, doesn't matter who's out there. We need to be scoring runs, that's our job as the top seven of the Australian cricket team.

"If you're not, obviously they'll look for other people. I think we've got the best people here at the moment, we just haven't been good enough to get the job done."

David Warner could return from an adductor injury in the third Test, while Will Pucovski may make his debut after his fine form in the Sheffield Shield.

Steve Smith, meanwhile, has scored just 10 runs in the opening two Tests as he tries to find form.

Paine felt Australia's batting and fielding were particularly costly in Melbourne.

"I think that was one of the factors [not enough runs], I think dropping a number of catches probably didn't help," he said.

"Just a bit of a sloppy performance I think in the field and just not enough runs again."

The third Test is due to start in Sydney on January 7, although whether that goes ahead as scheduled remains unclear amid a coronavirus outbreak in New South Wales.

New Zealand closed in on victory in the first Test against Pakistan after a dominant day four in Mount Maunganui.

The Black Caps set Pakistan 373 for victory at Bay Oval on Tuesday before reducing the tourists to 71-3 in their chase as Tim Southee took his 300th Test wicket.

After losing openers Shan Masood and Abid Ali for ducks, Pakistan rallied and Azhar Ali (34) and Fawad Alam (21) were unbeaten at stumps, needing another 302 runs for an unlikely victory.

Trent Boult (1-24) removed Abid, who was caught by BJ Watling following a short ball, before Masood went in the following over, edging Southee (2-15) to Ross Taylor at first slip.

Pakistan were yet to score at that stage, and Southee had Haris Sohail (9) caught by Mitchell Santner.

Southee became the third player to take 300 Test wickets for New Zealand, joining Richard Hadlee (431) and Daniel Vettori (361). Only Hadlee (61 matches) reached the feat faster than Southee (76).

But New Zealand were left to get seven wickets on day five after Azhar and Fawad put on an unbroken 34-run stand.

Earlier, the Black Caps found the quick runs they were after thanks mostly to openers Tom Blundell (64) and Tom Latham (53).

Blundell and Latham put on 111 for the opening wicket, New Zealand getting to 180-5 before declaring.

Naseem Shah finished with 3-55 for Pakistan.

A number of high-profile West Indies are reported to have made themselves unavailable for the upcoming tour of Bangladesh due to health and safety concerns.

The tour is set to take place between January 10 and February 11.  It was greenlighted on the recommendation of the CWI’s Medical Advisory Committee (MAC), who received a detailed report from a pre-tour visit of Bangladesh by CWI Director and Member of the CWI and ICC MAC, Dr. Mansingh, and Security Manager, Paul Slowe.

The recommendations have, however, not been enough to convince some players to embark on the tour.  With 510,080 confirmed coronavirus cases and 7,479 deaths, Bangladesh is one of the countries hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.  The country has, however, been hosting cricket tournaments under heavy quarantine restrictions.

According to initial reports, both captain Jason Holder and vice-captain Roston Chase have opted out of the tour with out-of-favour batsman Shai Hope also reportedly unwilling to accept the invitation.  The West Indies were one of the first teams to resume playing international cricket when they travelled to England in July.  The team then went on to travel to New Zealand for another series earlier this month.  Cricket West Indies (CWI) is expected to announce the squad for the tour within the next 24 hours.

West Indies women’s team captain Stafanie Taylor and dynamic all-rounder Deandra Dottin have been named to the ICC Women's T20I Team of the Decade.

Taylor and Dottin were part of the Windies team that made history after claiming victory over Australia in the 2016 Women’s T20 World Cup.  In addition, Taylor is currently ranked second for the most runs scored, her 3062 bettered only by New Zealand’s Suzie Bates.  Dottin is ranked 5th with 2565.  Taylor also features in the top ten in terms of wickets taken with 94 to date.

The West Indies women’s team captain has also earned a place on the ICC Women's ODI team of the year.  There she was joined by spinner Anisa Mohammed.  With 120 wickets taken to date, Mohammed is the format’s all-time leading wicket tacker.

Taylor had also been in contention for the ICC Women’s ODI Cricketer of the Decade but was beaten out by Australia’s Ellyse Perry.  Dottin was in the meantime in contention for the ICC Women’s T20I Cricketer of the Decade but was also beaten out by Perry.

 

ICC Women's T20I Team of the Decade

Alyssa Healy (Wicketkeeper)

Sophie Devine

Suzie Bates

Meg Lanning (Captain)

Harmanpreet Kaur

Stafanie Taylor

Deandra Dottin

Ellyse Perry

Anya Shrubsole

Megan Schutt

Poonam Yadav

Big-hitting West Indies stars Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard were both named as part of the ICC T20I Team of the Decade.

While the majority of his exploits in the game’s shortest format have occurred in the league format, Gayle has also made his presence felt on the international stage.  The towering left-hander played a crucial role in the West Indies winning two T20 world titles, first in 2012 and then again in 2016.

In addition, Gayle is fifth on the all-time list for the most T20I sixes with 105 registered so far.  India's Rohit Sharma is at the top of the pile with 127.  The player is fourth on the list of highest scores, with 117 off 57 balls, and is one of only nine players to score more than one century in T20I cricket.

Pollard, the West Indies T20 captain, was part of the successful World Cup-winning team in 2012.  He has scored a total of 1226 runs and has blasted 78 sixes with a highest score of 75 unbeaten.  Gayle and Pollard were the only West Indian men named to an ICC team of the decade

 

ICC T20 team of the decade

Rohit Sharma, Chris Gayle, Aaron Finch, Virat Kohli, AB de Villiers, Glenn Maxwell, MS Dhoni (c), Kieron Pollard, Rashid Khan, Jasprit Bumrah, and Lasith Malinga.

Windward Islands Volcanoes batsman, Tyrone Theophile, has reportedly been airlifted to neighboring Martinique from Dominica where he will continue to receive treatment in the aftermath of a serious motor vehicle accident.

According to reports, Theophile suffered a fractured skull and spent the last few days being treated at the Intensive Care Unit of the Princess Margaret Hospital after being involved in a collision on Christmas Day.  The player was listed in stable condition before being airlifted to Martinique.

Reports indicate that Theophile was involved in a motorcycle accident in the vicinity of the Roseau Post Office in the capital city Roseau.

The opening batsman has captained the Volcanoes for a few seasons at the regional level and played a total of 68 first-class matches.  He has scored 3,055 runs at an average of 25.88.  He has also taken 18 wickets at 34 runs apiece with his off-spin.  Theophile has been one of the island’s best cricketers for a number of seasons.  He was a part of the team that won the regional Super50 title in 2017, the fourth time the islands were claiming the title.

 

Virat Kohli congratulated Ajinkya Rahane after the stand-in India skipper scored an unbeaten century on day two of the Boxing Day Test with Australia in Melbourne.

Rahane was afforded two lives en route to an unbeaten 104 for India, who reached 277-5 and a lead of 82 before stumps was called prematurely due to rain on Sunday.

It was Rahane's 12th Test ton and eighth away from home, his latest hundred coming from 195 balls as the tourists took control of the second Test.

The 32-year-old is also just the second Indian batsman to score a century on his first match as captain in Australia, joining Kohli in achieving the feat.

And Kohli, who has flown back home on paternity leave, took to social media to hail his team-mate's impressive display at the MCG.

"Another great day for us," he posted on Twitter. "Proper test cricket at its best. Absolutely top knock from Jinks @ajinkyarahane88."

Rahane and Ravindra Jadeja (40 not out) put on an unbeaten stand of 104 runs for the sixth wicket to frustrate Australia, who dropped four catches on the second day.

Indian opener Shubman Gill believes the patient batting of Rahane and Jadeja could prove decisive in the Test.

"I think it was a really valuable knock [from Jadeja]. He went into bat when we were 170-something for five," Gill told ANI. 

"It's very easy for us to loosen up and let opposition back in the game. So, the partnership between Ajinkya Rahane and Jadeja was really important for us.

"The way Rahane played was so patient. This knock was all about patience. 

"When you are playing such a high-quality bowling attack sometimes you go in that shell and you are not able to score runs. It was a magnificent knock to watch"

New Zealand are in a strong position following day two of the opening Test after Kane Williamson's century guided the hosts to an imposing first-innings total against Pakistan.

Williamson chalked up his 23rd Test hundred, the Black Caps captain's 129 leading New Zealand to 431 all out at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Sunday.

In response, Pakistan lost an early wicket – opener Shan Masood (10) dismissed by Kyle Jamieson (1-5) – before reaching 30-1 at stumps.

Abid Ali (19 not out) and nightwatchman Mohammad Abbas (0 not out) will return to the crease, with Pakistan still trailing by 401 runs.

New Zealand resumed on 222-3 on the second day of the first contest – Williamson making his way back out to the middle unbeaten on 94.

It was only a matter of time before Williamson raised his bat to celebrate back-to-back Test tons, having reached triple figures against West Indies, after Henry Nicholls posted a half-century from 108 deliveries.

A pair of wickets fell prior to lunch, Nicholls (56) and Williamson, as the pair's 133-run stand was eventually snapped – Naseem Shah (1-96) broke the partnership with the first ball after drinks and Williamson followed four deliveries later after edging Yasir Shah (3-113) to Haris Sohail.

New Zealand were 281-5 when Williamson departed, but BJ Watling guided the Black Caps past the 400-run mark as he recorded his fifty prior to the tea break.

Watling reached 73 in the final session before becoming Shaheen Afridi's fourth victim (4-109), while Jamieson (32), Mitchell Santner and Neil Wagner (both 19) made contributions as Tim Southee (0) fell cheaply.

The Office of Disaster Preparedness and Management  (ODPM) hurriedly withdrew a previous advisory, which stated that the Russell’s T20 Restaurant and Sports Bar franchise, owned by Windies T20 star Andre Russell, had been ordered closed for breaching regulations.

On Wednesday the government body had issued a release stating that both the restaurants Old Harbour and newly opened Kingston location would be closed for breaching COVID-19 regulations.

 Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Desmond McKenzie, however, then claimed that the both establishments were operating in contravention to other regulations.  The ODPM has since claimed that the release had been prepared but was sent out in error.  

There is yet to be any update in relation to the claims of other permit violations later referred to by the minister.

Russell, one of the region’s biggest T20 stars, opened the Old Harbour franchise in 2017 before adding the Kingston location earlier this month.

Two restaurant sports bar locations owned by Windies T20 star Andre Russell have been ordered to close immediately for operating in contravention of the Disaster Risk Management Act and not having the proper licensing in place.

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Desmond McKenzie confirmed that both the St Catherine and 12 Dunrobin Avenue locations of Russell's T20 Restaurant and Sports Bar were issued with orders to immediately close on Wednesday.

Night clubs across the island were ordered closed in March, in a bid to arrest the spread of the Covid-19 virus.  According to McKenzie, however, some of the locations across the island have been operating as restaurants in an apparent bid to circumvent the regulations.  In addition to that, however, McKenzie also claimed some of the establishments were not licensed to operate in the manner in which they were.

“There are two locations that we have decided to take actions against, immediate actions.  They are facilities that are owned by a prominent sports individual,” Mckenzie told Nationwide Radio.

“I’m talking about Russell’s T20, the one on Dunrobin and the one in Old Harbour.  The KSMEC and the St Catherine Municipal have never received an application for an amusement license or permit for the operations of these facilities."

Russell opened the Old Harbour branch of the restaurant in 2017, the Kingston location was opened earlier this month.

Justin Langer has challenged Australia to show they can become a "great" side when they face wounded India in the Boxing Day Test at the MCG.

India were humiliatingly bowled out for a pitiful 36 in the first Test at Adelaide Oval, where Australia coasted to an eight-wicket victory.

That was the tourists' lowest total in the longest format and the seventh-worst score of all time in Test cricket.

India will be without their captain and best batsman Virat Kohli for the remainder of the four-match series after he returned home for the birth of his first child.

Paceman Mohammed Shami will also play no part in the rest of the series due to a fractured arm, which is another huge blow to India's hopes of reaching the ICC World Test Championship final.

Australia are expected to be unchanged and head coach Langer wants to see them make another statement in such a big event on the sporting calendar, which will be the 100th Test between the two countries.

Langer said: "We were in for a real arm wrestle of a Test match [in Adelaide]. So it was amazing how things turned around. We know how good a team India is, we know we've got to keep improving.

"If we're going to become a great team we have to get better at winning after we win and people didn't quite understand that, but really good teams keep winning and winning, particularly when they're playing good cricket.

"So it's an area we've addressed, we'll have to start well Boxing Day morning and then be consistent, because we know India will fight back as we saw in the first two days of the Test match in Adelaide."

SELECTION POSERS FOR INDIA 

India were always going to make at least one change for the second Test in the absence of Kohli but there may well be several alterations to the side.

KL Rahul could get the nod, while Mohammed Siraj and Navdeep Saini will be hoping to make their Test debut with Shami unavailable.

Prithvi Shaw's place at the top of the order is also under scrutiny after he made just four in his two brief visits to the crease in the opening Test.

Shubman Gill is pushing for selection as India look to avoid a fourth consecutive Test defeat away from home at a famous venue where they won in the longest format two years ago.

 

MORE OF THE SAME FOR AUSTRALIA

Australia are unsurprisingly set to go with the same line-up that embarrassed India to take a 1-0 lead.

Josh Hazlewood took incredible figures of 5-8 and Pat Cummins claimed 4-21 in an astonishing second-innings capitulation from the tourists.

Joe Burns made a much-needed unbeaten half-century as Australia wrapped up the victory and the opener could do with another significant contribution with the bat.

Langer said when asked about selection: "I'd be a pretty courageous man to change the XI for this Test match after the last one.

"At this stage, unless something happens over the next few days – and things can happen in the world we live in – we'll go in with the same XI, I'd say."

 

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Australia will be in the hunt for back-to-back Test wins against India for the first time since December 2014.

- India have won their last four Tests on the bounce without Kohli in the side, including an eight-wicket win against Australia in March 2017.

- Steve Smith needs just 69 runs to become the fifth Australian man to reach 1,500 Test runs against India; his batting average of 79.5 from 22 innings is the highest of any Australian to have more than six knocks against them.

- Three of Shaw's last six Test dismissals have seen him bowled, with all of those dismissals coming against pace bowling.

- Nathan Lyon needs just nine more wickets to reach 400 in Test cricket; only Shane Warne (708) and Glenn McGrath (563) have taken more for Australia in the men's game.

Joshua Da Silva said he is humbled by the praise heaped upon him by West Indies great, Sir Vivian Richards.

Da Silva, 22, one of the shining lights for what was otherwise a disastrous tour of New Zealand earlier this month. He made a composed 57 in the second innings on his Test debut after being called up to replace injured wicketkeeper-batsman Shane Dowrich.

His performance already has tongues wagging across the Caribbean about the Trinidadian taking over from his Barbadian colleague behind the stumps for the West Indies.

However, while Sir Vivian, who has scored 8540 runs from 121 Test matches, did not opine on whether Da Silva was ready to be the West Indies number-one wicketkeeper-batsman, he definitely likes what he sees. He expressed his opinions to the Antigua Observer in a recent interview.

“I think some of these guys should have a look at him and see how simple he keeps his game because even for the period I saw him at the crease he was compact, not flashy and had the bat coming down with all kinds of flashiness,” Sir Vivian said.

“He looks very respectable to me like he knows his game.

“You see him when he is batting and when he is looking to defend, how straight his bat is. He looks organized to me and you’re not seeing that in all the other guys.”

After reading about the Master Blaster’s remarks, Da Silva told Sportsmax.TV he appreciated the observations from the all-time great.

“I am honoured to see what Sir Viv has said and complimenting about my batting,” he said.

“I am just playing a simple basic game. I am not trying to be too flashy, score when I can score and defend when I can defend so it’s a great honour to get some compliments from a great like Sir Viv and I will take that and keep working at my game and getting better.”

 

 

Joshua Da Silva might have only played in one Test match, but according to one of the greatest batsmen of all time, the young Trinidadian's more experienced counterparts could learn a thing or two from the greenhorn wicketkeeper/batsman.

Called to the West Indies squad to replace the injured Shane Dowrich, the 22-year-old Da Silva got off to an inauspicious start in his Test debut which came recently against New Zealand.

After looking at ease in the middle, a moment of indecision cost him his wicket.

When on three, he decided to play at a fullish outswinger in the corridor from Tim Southee. In an instant, Da Silva tried to pull his bat away but not far enough as the ball brushed the bat face on its way through to wicketkeeper BJ Watling.

However, in his second turn at bat with the West Indies following on, Da Silva was the most composed batsman, going on to make a polished 57. With the West Indies facing certain defeat and with only one batsman left to come, he was eventually trapped lbw by Neil Wagner. During the knock where he stroked six balls to the boundaries, the young Trinidadian impressed none other than the Master Blaster himself, Sir Isaac Vivian Richards.

“I think some of these guys should have a look at him and see how simple he keeps his game because even for the period I saw him at the crease he was compact, not flashy and had the bat coming down with all kinds of flashiness,” Sir Vivian told the Antigua Observer in a recent interview.

“He looks very respectable to me, like he knows his game.

“You see him when he is batting and when he is looking to defend, how straight his bat is. He looks organized to me and you’re not seeing that in all the other guys.”

Da Silva came away with a Test average of 30, the third best among the West Indies batsmen. Only Jermaine Blackwood with an average of 54 and Captain Jason Holder who averaged 34.33 were better.

 

 

 

Page 7 of 148
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.