By Dyon Ravello
Team Predicator takes a look into West Indies team ahead of its English Tour. IPL have already deprived the maroon men of Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo, Sunil Narine, Russell and Chris Gayle as probable Test team candidates. There may be blessings in Ramnaresh Sarwan scoring a ton in English conditions and Brendan Nash also contracted to county cricket. From the current pack battling for survival against Australia, the openers remain most vulnerable to the selector gauntlet with their continued poor returns. Kraigg Brathwaite will be at the top of the list of those who will need a second innings marathon innings to keep Mr. Butts and co. interested.
Keiran Powell has been commended by Mikey Holding for his ability to play the ball late, he may even book his ticket with another gallant knock as he had in the first innings. Adrian Barath is not too far behind Brathwaite and has now been surpassed by Powell in the cutting order. Then there is the possibility of turning to Johnson Charles who has shown his mettle in the limited overs series against the Aussies. Also Lendl Simmons has recover from injury and may be a practical option in the light of the situation.
The frailty of the top order has placed immense pressure on the shoulders of Darren Bravo at number 4, but he should be able to continue his trade in the moisture conditions. Mr Shiv is a definite traveler, there may be a need to have him bat earlier to shield Bravo from repetitious top order slides. Kirk Edwards should be book once fit while Narsingh Deonarine would be another member of perseverance in May. Assad Fudadin who was not considered for debut in the current Test at Dominica may force his way to England, once Sarwan and Nash are overlooked. The choices for the wicket keeping spot is less complicated as the batting options, but the batting return will play a role in the selection of either incumbent Carlton Baugh or Denesh Ramdin also returning from injury.
In the bowling department, captain Sammy looks certain to retain his position, albeit his continuous missed catches, and overly defensive fields at times when not warranted. This is apart from his limited over form with bat which have proven that he deserves a place in the maroon clad. Sammy’s medium pace may just prove effective in the swinging conditions, but again he will be forcing out a third genuine quick or a spinner. There has to come a time when Fidel Edwards, Ravi Rampaul and Kemar Roach play together at a consistent basis and this may being come first Test, May 17th. Shane Shillingford has sealed his spot as the Test spinner at least till the end of the IPL. For back up quicks Tino Best and Shannon Gabriel are right in line for the Tour.
Team Predicator invites you to weigh in on the Tour party to England. here is our selection: Daren Sammy (c), Keiran Powell, Darren Bravo, Kirk Edwards, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Shane Shillingford, Fidel Edwards, Assad Fudadin, Narsingh Deonarine, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Denesh Ramdin (wk) Shannon Gabriel, Johnson Charles, Adrian Barath
Coming next limited over prediction to England.