West Indies have made their intentions clear in the lead-up to next year’s T20 World Cup by picking a power-packed squad for the upcoming 5-match T20I series against England at home. West Indies will host Jos Buttler’s side in 5 T20Is from December 12 to 21 and Rovman Powell will lead the hosts.
In a major battle between two potential favourites at next year’s World Cup, which will also be played in the Caribbean and the USA, West Indies brought back their star all-rounder Andre Russell. The Kolkata Knight Riders star returns to the T20I set-up for the first time since the T20 World Cup in 2021.
In the lead-up to his return, Russell was active in the T10 league, representing the Deccan Gladiators. The West Indies all-rounder shone in the final with a 15-ball 30 and a wicket, but his team lost to Kieron Polllard-led New York Strikers in the final. Russell had an impressive campaign, hitting 90 runs across 10 matches and picking up 7 wickets with an economy rate of less than 8 in the 10-overs-per-side tournament.
The selection of Russell is a strategic move by the West Indies Cricket Board, as expressed by chief selector Desmond Haynes, who believes the current squad gives them the best chance of success in the upcoming tournament. The team is looking to fine-tune their preparations, and Russell’s experience and prowess will undoubtedly be key components of their strategy.
Meanwhile, the West Indies also brought back Nicholas Pooran and Jason Holder who were unavailable for selection for the ODI series. Spinner Gudakesh Moite, who missed the T20I series against India earlier in the year, is back after recovering from an injury.
WEST INDIES SQUAD FOR ENGLAND T20Is
Rovman Powell (Captain), Shai Hope (Vice-Captain), Roston Chase, Matthew Forde, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Nicholas Pooran, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, Romario Shepherd.
Shai Hope, who led the West Indies to a 2-1 series win in ODIs on Saturday, will be the vice-captain of the side while Sherfane Rutherford also makes a return to the T20I side for the first time in 3 years.
WI vs ENG, T20I SERIES SCHEDULE
1st T20I: 12 December, Kensington Oval, Barbados
2nd T20I: 14 December, National Stadium, Grenada
3rd T20I: 16 December, National Stadium, Grenada
4th T20I: 19 December, Brian Lara Academy, Trinidad
5th T20I: 21 December, Brian Lara Academy, Trinidad