West Indies announces squad for T20I series against South Africa; Andre Russell fails to make the cut

May 20, 2024

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Cricket West Indies (CWI) has revealed the squad for the three-game T20I series against South Africa, set to take place from May 23 in Jamaica. This series serves as a crucial preparation phase ahead of the T20 World Cup 2024. Brandon King has been appointed captain in the absence of Rovman Powell, who will remain at the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2024 with Rajasthan Royals (RR).

Absentees due to IPL 2024 commitments

Several key players will miss the T20I series due to ongoing IPL commitments or rest following the tournament. Powell, Andre Russell (Kolkata Knight Riders), Shimron Hetmyer (RR), Alzarri Joseph (Royal Challengers Bengaluru) and Sherfane Rutherford (KKR) are with their respective IPL teams involved in the knockouts. Additionally, Nicholas Pooran and Shai Hope, who featured for Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) and Delhi Capitals (DC) respectively, are being rested.

Inclusion of potential World Cup reserves

Joseph and Rutherford will be added to the T20I squad if their teams do not reach the IPL final. Matthew Forde and Kyle Mayers, who were both close to selection for the T20 World Cup, are among those who will feature against South Africa. This series is likely to confirm who will be the first reserves should an injury strike during the World Cup.

Also READ: Cricket West Indies announces home fixtures; to host South Africa before T20 World Cup 2024

Key World Cup squad members participating

Several players who are part of the T20 World Cup squad are also included in the team for the South Africa series. These players include Roston Chase, Johnson Charles, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Shamar Joseph, Gudakesh Motie and Romario Shepherd. The series will provide a platform for these players to fine-tune their skills and build momentum ahead of the World Cup.

West Indies’ squad for the T20I series against South Africa:

Brandon King (c), Roston Chase, Alick Athanaze, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Mathew Forde, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Shamar Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Obed McCoy, Gudakesh Motie, Romario Shepherd, Hayden Walsh

Strategic importance and preparation

Lead selector Desmond Haynes highlighted the importance of the upcoming T20 matches as crucial preparation for the World Cup, offering players a chance to refine their skills and readiness, whether they are in the main squad or reserves.

“These are among the last competitive T20 international matches before the start of the World Cup. Players have the opportunity to fine-tune their skills and ensure they are as prepared as they can be for the World Cup, whether they are in the final squad or reserve pool,” Haynes was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

Head coach Daren Sammy emphasized the team’s recent high-intensity training camp in Antigua and the opportunity to reintegrate players returning from the IPL to build momentum for the World Cup.

“We have not played together as a team since the Australia series, but we just completed a very high-intensity training camp in Antigua. Now we have the chance to integrate some of our players returning from the IPL and build some momentum as a group going into the World Cup,” Sammy said.

Potential T20I debuts and warm-up match

The series against South Africa might see a T20I debut for fast bowler Joseph, who is included in the World Cup squad and made a solitary appearance for LSG during the IPL. This opportunity will be crucial for him to gain international experience ahead of the World Cup.

After facing South Africa, the West Indies will play a warm-up match against Australia on May 30, providing another critical opportunity to finalize strategies and team combinations before the World Cup begins. This series and the subsequent warm-up match will be instrumental in determining the readiness and form of the players as they head into the global tournament.

Also READ: South Africa announces squad for the T20I series against West Indies; no place for Aiden Markram

For latest cricket news & updates, visit CricketTimes.com.

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