Shai Hope, who last represented the Windies in the longest format in July 2020, has been named in the side’s 17-man squad for the two match Test series against South Africa that will commence on June 10. Meanwhile, John Campbell has been axed to accommodate Kieron Powell, who also makes a comeback.
It has not taken too long for Shai Hope to make a comeback to Test cricket as the flamboyant right-hander, who last represented the Windies in Test cricket against England in 2020, has been named in the 17-man squad for the two-Test series against South Africa. Hope debuted as a 21-year-old back in 2015, and then shot to fame after scoring twin centuries against England in 2017. However, his career went downhill post the twin centuries as in the 17 Tests prior to being axed, the 27-year-old averaged a mere 19.58, posting no three-figure-scores. However, a century in an intra-squad warm-up match earlier this week, representing ‘Blackwood XI’, has seen the right-hander find his way back into the squad.
Hope, however, is not the only big name making a comeback as the 17-man squad also features the name of Kieran Powell, whose last Test appearance came back in 2018. Powell, across the last three seasons, has been one of the most prolific run-getters in domestic cricket in the Windies, and his relentless consistency has seen the southpaw return to the Windies Test side.
Powell’s inclusion comes at the expense of John Campbell, who has seen himself get the axe. Known for his tendency to take the attack to the opposition, Campbell was given a long run by the selectors - he played 15 Tests in a row - but the southpaw failed to repay the faith. 23.70 was all he could average, and failure to get to the three-figure mark even once in 30 attempts has seen the selectors finally lose patience with Campbell, who had a promising start to his career.
Shimron Hetmyer continues to be overlooked by the selectors for Test cricket, but a youngster who instead has seen himself make the squad is young Jayden Seales. The right-armer made heads turn with his showing in the 2020 U19 World Cup, and despite not boasting of a particularly impressive first-class record, the 19-year-old has been selected for the Tests against the Proteas. Seales replaces Chemar Holder, who misses out due to injury.
The first Test between Windies and South Africa will commence on June 10 in St.Lucia.
Squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Jermaine Blackwood (vc), Nkrumah Bonner, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Jahmar Hamilton, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Jomel Warrican