Fabian Allen has recovered from a knee injury to make the trip back to India to play a T20I series with West Indies. The left-arm spinning allrounder was part of the squad that took on Afghanistan in Lucknow earlier this month but had to pull out after playing the first game. Denesh Ramdin, who missed part of that series with hamstring trouble, is also fit again.
Kieron Pollard leads the same squad that lost to Afghanistan 2-1. West Indies’ batting had come undone after they had taken a 1-0 lead as they stumbled in a couple of chases. A couple of new faces who were part of that series – Brandon King and Hayden Walsh Jr. – stay on as preparations for next year’s T20 World Cup continue.
West Indies did win the ODI series though – their first since 2014 – and all of that squad has been retained as well. Chris Gayle had been in contention to play this series but when contacted by the selectors he told them that he needed to take “a break” and figure out what he wanted to do in 2020. West Indies do have plenty of cover in the top of their order with Shai Hope in excellent form and Evin Lewis for firepower.
Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo are other notable absentees. Bravo hinted earlier this month that he was considering an international comeback, while Russell – who has a history of knee injuries – was not included, despite being fit enough to play six games at the recent Abu Dhabi T10.
Head coach Phil Simmons said that India would prove sterner opposition than Afghanistan did, and that it was good to give some younger faces “another chance… to play and develop”.
“We have three matches in each format, so we wanted to give each squad a chance to compete against India,” Simmons said. “No disrespect to Afghanistan, but facing India will be a more difficult series. Our players really got the hang of things, with the 3-0 series win in the ODIs [against Afghanistan], and I believe we will move from strength to strength.”
Simmons added: “In the T20s this will be another chance for them to play and develop, and again, with no disrespect to Afghanistan, this should be a stronger T20 country and we will look to see how they perform against India. The next ICC T20 World Cup is in Australia and the one after that is here in India so there is a lot of preparation to be done for first for Australia. We have given the players here a chance in this series and we know we have players outside who may be coming in later on as well, so it’s good to give those here another opportunity.”
The T20I series begins in Hyderabad on December 6. There are two further T20Is, in Thiruvananthapuram and Mumbai, before three ODIs in Chennai, Vizag and Cuttack.
T20I squad: Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Brandon King, Evin Lewis, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard (capt), Nicholas Pooran, Denesh Ramdin, Sherfane Rutherford, Lendl Simmons, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams
ODI squad: Sunil Ambris, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Evin Lewis, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard (capt), Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Hayden Walsh Jr.