Test hopefuls seek to impress against India
BASSETERRE, St Kitts (CMC):
Several Test hopefuls will hope to convince selectors of their readiness for the upcoming India series when the WICB President's XI take on the tourists in a two-day match starting today.
The likes of captain Leon Johnson, along with countryman Vishaul Singh, Barbadian Roston Chase were all prolific during this year's first class season and will be hoping to reiterate that form against the Indians.
Johnson, who has already played four Tests but has been ignored by selectors in a year-and-a-half, said it was an opportunity for all the players to impress.
"Places are up for grabs in the Test team. It hasn't been selected as yet but places are up for grabs," the left-hander said yesterday.
"Performing against these international teams is always good. You saw last year when a couple of guys performed against Australia, they were elevated into the Test team. We'll probably field for a day and bat for a day so I think we can accomplish a lot in two days of cricket."
Johnson, who averages nearly 40 in Tests, was the leading run-scorer in the first class competition with 807 runs at an average of 57 while Vishaul managed 712 runs and Chase, 710.
Both Vishaul and Chase are yet to represent West Indies.
The 12-man squad also includes those with Test experience like Shai Hope, Rajendra Chandrika, Shane Dowrich and Jomel Warrican who are yet to cement their places in the Windies side.
Johnson said most of the players had remained in training since the end of the first class season and now was the time to produce.
"A lot of guys have been doing work with their franchises obviously. Personally I've been doing some work ... and a lot of guys have been preparing with their franchises," he explained.
The President's XI side is packed with young batting talent while the bowling includes equally talented players in the form of fast bowlers Jason Dawes, Keon Joseph and Marquino Mindley.
Left-arm spinner Warrican, who has played four Tests, will be joined by leg-spinner Damion Jacobs as the front-line spin attack.
WICB PRESIDENT'S XI - Leon Johnson (captain), Jermaine Blackwood, Rajendra Chandrika, Roston Chase, Jason Dawes, Shane Dowrich, Shai Hope, Damion Jacobs, Keon Joseph, Marquino Mindley, Vishaul Singh, Jomel Warrican.