Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Batsman Kieran Powell is set to play his first Test match in almost three years after he was included in the West Indies’ squad for the first Test against Pakistan.
Powell has not played Test cricket since June 2014 as shortly after that, he walked away from cricket for a while in order to try and pursue a career in baseball in the United States.
But, after he came up empty, he returned to cricket last year and finished as the top run scorer in the Regional Super50 competition with 513 runs in eight innings at a brilliant average of 64.12.
While he only averages 28.50 in four-day cricket this season, Powell made his presence felt in the West Indies President’s XI warm-up game against Pakistan as he scored 58 and 84 not out.
“We are happy to be able to give a recall to Kieran Powell for one of the opening slots, although he did not have the best regional first-class season,” West Indies chairman of selectors Courtney Browne said. “He showed for the President’s XI that his experience can add value to our team.
“West Indies cricket has invested heavily in him over the years and with the void of openers within the Caribbean, the panel felt a need to fast track him through our A-Team programme last year with a view in helping him to bridge that gap.”
Meanwhile, the uncapped batting duo of Vishaul Singh and Shimron Hetmyer have also been drafted into the squad.
“Vishal has been one of the more consistent batsmen in the Regional 4-Day Tournament over the last few seasons and had a very good A-Team series against Sri Lanka last year,” Browne said. “His hundred over the weekend for the WICB President’s XI against the Pakistanis helped to fortify in our minds that he has a place in our squad. He gives us the option of a solid middle-order batsman around whom our more free-scoring players can bat.”
With some fresh faces in the squad, the West Indies decided to drop Marlon Samuels, Darren Bravo, Leon Johnson, Carlos Brathwaite and Jomel Warrican.
The first Test between the West Indies and Pakistan begins on April 21 in Jamaica.
West Indies Squad for first Test: Jason Holder (capt), Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich (wk), Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kieran Powell, Vishaul Singh.