West Indies add Shannon Gabriel to 15-member squad: The fast bowler is in likeliness of playing the first Test in Southampton.
West Indies have added fast bowler Shannon Gabriel to their 15-member squad for the upcoming three-match Test series against England. The official announcement comes on the back of head coach Phil Simmons hinting the same a week ago.
Representing WI Holder XI in the recently concluded practice match against WI Brathwaite XI, Gabriel registered bowling figures of 8-1-42-4 playing a pivotal role in bundling out the opposition for 178 in 34 overs in the first innings.
In the first practice match, Gabriel had picked match figures of 20-4-80-4 to be among the wickets in both the innings. Coming on the back of a knee injury, West Indies were perhaps waiting for Gabriel to prove match fitness before including him in the main squad.
West Indies add Shannon Gabriel to 15-member squad
“I am delighted that we are able to add Shannon to the Test squad. He has shown that he is fit and ready, he will add experience, firepower and potency to the bowling unit,” Cricket West Indies lead selector Roger Harper said in a statement regarding Gabriel’s selection.
No surprise but Shannon Gabriel now officially added to the West Indies main Test squad. Reserve status was only ever a case of needing to prove fitness
— Ali Martin (@Cricket_Ali) July 2, 2020
Gabriel, who last played for West Indies during the home series against India in 2019, has been a consistent figure for them in the format of late. Although with minimal returns, Gabriel had represented Gloucestershire in three first-class matches in last year’s Division Two County Championship.
In eight Tests against England, Gabriel has picked 26 wickets at an average of 29.96, an economy rate of 3.29 and a strike rate of 54.6.
Considering the uncertainty regarding West Indies captain Jason Holder’s fitness, Gabriel’s presence in the final XI becomes all the more important for the visitors.