Chris Gayle and Andre Russell, the two power hitters in the West Indies cricket team, have been left out of the series against India which will feature three Twenty20 Internationals and three ODIs starting from December 6. Gayle had already made his announcement that he wanted to take a break from the game while Russell has been laid low with injuries. Kieron Pollard will continue to lead both the ODI and T20 squads with Nicholas Pooran as his deputy in the shorter format and Shai Hope taking over the role of the vice-captain in the ODIs. The selectors decided to keep faith with the players who recently played against Afghanistan in Lucknow.
Speaking about the announcement of the squad, West Indies coach Phil Simmons said facing an India side on top of their game will be a massive task. "The next World Cup is in Australia (2020) and the one after that is here in India (2021) so there is a lot of preparation to be done for first for Australia, so 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," Simmons said.
Gayle, who played for defending champions Jozi Stars in what was a disastrous MSL campaign for him in South Africa, scored just 101 runs from six innings, recently lashed out at his critics. "As soon as I don’t perform for two or three games, then Chris Gayle is the burden for the team. I am not talking for this team only. This is something I have analysed over the years playing franchise cricket. Chris Gayle is always a burden if I don’t score runs, two, three, four times. It seems like that one particular individual is the burden for the team. And then you will hear bickering. I am not going to get respect. People don’t remember what you have done for them. I don’t get respect," he added.
West Indies will begin their tour with the three-match T20 series, starting with the opening match in Hyderabad on December 6. It will be followed by the second T20 in Thiruvananthapuram on December 8 and the third match is scheduled to be held in Mumbai on December 11. The two teams will then meet in three ODIs in Chennai (December 15), Vizag (December 18) and Cuttack (December 22).
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West Indies ODI Squad: Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope, Khary Pierre, Rostan Chase, Alzarri Joseph, Kieron Pollard (C), Sheldon Cottrell, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Romario Shepherd, Jason Holder, Keemo Paul, Hayden Walsh Jr.
West Indies T20 squad: Fabian Allen, Brandon King, Denesh Ramdin, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Sherfane Rutherford, Shimron Hetmyer, Khary Pierre, Lendl Simmons, Jason Holder, Kieron Pollard (C), Hayden Walsh Jr, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Kesrick Williams.