Cricket

India vs West Indies: From Kemar Roach to Rahkeem Cornwall, players to watch out from Windies squad in Test series

  • FirstCricket Staff
  • August 18th, 2019
  • 13:29:59 IST

After clinching the T20I and ODI series, India will now aim to end their tour of West Indies by taking home the Test series, which starts on 22 August at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in North Sound, Antigua.

File image of Kemar Roach. AFP

File image of Kemar Roach. AFP

For both the teams, the Test series will also be their first brush with the newly-introduced World Test championship. The last time Jason Holder's team played Tests, they ended up winning the series – beating England 2-1 early this year. Virat Kohli would know that despite losing both the limited-overs series in the tour, West Indies have the ability to bounce back and beat the strong Indian side in the two Tests.

From the team that played against England, the selectors have not chosen Alzarri Joseph and left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican. Joseph had to left out because of injury.

"Alzarri is undergoing remedial work and we are monitoring his recovery, but we do not think he is ready yet to last five days of a gruelling Test match," selection panel chief  Robert Haynes said.

All-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall has been included in the squad and there are strong chances he could feature in the first Test.

"Rahkeem has been performing consistently over a long period of time and has proven to be a match-winner, so we believe his elevation to the Test squad is merited at this time," Haynes said.

Test cricket is a different ball game and this West Indies team have the talent in their ranks. So apart from key players like Holder, Kraigg Brathwaite and Darren Bravo, here's a look at the other players from the Windies squad who can make an impact:

Rahkeem Cornwall

Cornwall has been knocking on the selectors' door for quite some time and he finally made his way to the national team for the Test series against India. Cornwall, who made his first-class debut in 2014, has been a consistent performer for his domestic side Leeward Islands and has also shown his potential with good performances for the West Indies A side. In 55 first-class matches, the off-spinning all-rounder has taken 260 wickets at an average of 23.90 while scoring 6216 runs.

Primarily, Cornwall is a spinner, but on his day, he can contribute with the bat as well. He is a good option for his side in the lower order, and his two recent fifties against the India A team are a testament to his batting exploits. Cornwall will look to do maximum damage on turning pitches along with another spinner in the squad Roston Chase.

Shane Dowrich

The West Indies wicketkeeper-batsman might be averaging below 30 in the 30 Tests he played so far, but the 27-year-old showed his usefulness with a solid display against England in the team's last Test series. He was the second-highest run-getter in the series behind his captain Jason Holder, averaging 51 from the five innings and scoring a game-changing hundred in the first Test.

Dowrich will be up against quality bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, but if he could bat as he did against the likes of James Anderson and Stuart Broad, there's a chance he could be the game-changer. His wicket-keeping skills also matter, but in this series, Dowrich's objective would be about being consistent with the bat.

Shamarh Brooks

When it comes to experience, Brooks has plenty in his bag. The 30-year-old right-handed batsman has played 73 first-class matches and has a decent average of close to 34 in his career. While the stats might be appealing, Brooks' performances in the two Tests against India A, where he scored two half-centuries, has certainly played a role in his selection to the national side. He is yet to make his debut for the Windies in any format, and it is unlikely that he will feature in the first Test. But the team management might play him in the second Test if any of the top-order batsmen fails in the first Test.

Brooks has a point or two to prove going into the series. He has been a feature in the domestic circuit for more than a decade so he will look to make maximum use of the opportunity on the biggest stage if chosen in the playing XI. Brooks' task is not at all an easy one, considering the quality bowling line-up of Team India.

Kemar Roach

The current crop of fast bowlers are inferior to the yesteryear talents from the Caribbean, but when it comes to wicket-taking abilities, Roach shines the brightest from the squad. In 53 Tests since the time he made his debut in 2009, Roach has taken 184 wickets at a good average of 27. His bowling was crucial in West Indies' series win against England. In three Tests, he picked up 18 wickets, which included three four-fers and one five-fer.

Roach's initial breakthroughs are important for the team. Indian openers are prone to inconsistency and this is where Roach can be dangerous. If he could apply early pressure on Indian batsmen, as he did against the English batsmen, it's advantage West Indies. Holder would know that Roach's form is key to the series victory against Kohli's team.

John Campbell

Campbell should open the batting with Kraigg Brathwaite in the first Test. The selectors' decision of not picking veteran Chris Gayle for the Tests and going with Campbell shows the trust they have on the 25-year-old left-handed batsman. Campbell made his debut in the longest format against England. His batting in the series was not remarkable, but he showed plenty of promise. Despite getting off to good starts — he made 40 plus scores on three occasions — he failed to convert them into big scores.

Going into the Tests against India, Campbell will look to seal the opener's spot at least for the next few series.

Updated Date: August 18, 2019 13:29:59 IST

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