Gabriel likely to be added to West Indies squad: West Indies are likely to add another member to their 14-member squad for upcoming tour.
West Indies head coach Phil Simmons has confirmed that captain Jason Holder has recovered from an ankle niggle and appears set to lead his team in the first Test against England on July 8.
“He [Jason Holder] seems to be all right. He batted and bowled today. He could bat No. 6; Shane Dowrich could bat No. 6. The warm-up games will help us decide how we structure the batting. There are possibilities in different directions,” Simmons was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
West Indies, who are scheduled to begin their first warm-up match today, will play an additional practice match before the first Test. The second match is likely to see them field a probable XI for the first Test at Southampton.
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Shannon Gabriel likely to be added to West Indies squad
In addition to Holder, Simmons also confirmed that fast bowler Shannon Gabriel is likely to be added as a strength to West Indies’s 14-member squad. Gabriel, 32, had traveled to England as part of the 11 reserves for this tour.
Talking about the development, Simmons highlighted how Gabriel needed time coming on the back of an injury. Having observed the right-arm pacer in the nets, the head coach believed the former to be “bowling as fast as he’s seen him”.
“Yes, there is a possibility of Shannon Gabriel joining the touring party. He’s one of West Indies’ prominent fast bowlers coming back from injury and we just had to make sure that he was fit enough to work through the tour.
“The last week he’s been at full tilt and he looks fit. He looks good. He’s bowling as fast as I’ve seen him for a while so he’s ready and close enough to the Test match.
“When leaving home 14 were named in the squad. Because of Shannon coming back from his injury, we had to let him get a little bit further and see how he is and then we’ll decide whether to make it a 15-member squad. After that, injuries might be the cause for changes.
“The top three bowlers speak for themselves. Jason Holder is the number one ranked all-rounder in the world in Test cricket, Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel are high up on that fast bowling list in the ICC rankings. That shows you there’s quality there,” Simmons added.
Gabriel, who last played for West Indies during a home series against India in 2019, has been a consistent figure for them in Test matches in the recent years. Although with minimal returns, Gabriel had represented Gloucestershire in last year’s Division Two County Championship.