Uncapped opener Jeremy Solozano has been named in West Indies’ 15-member squad for the two-match Test series in Sri Lanka, beginning November 21. Right-arm quick Shannon Gabriel made a return from hamstring injury, while opener Kieran Powell and pacemen Alzarri Joseph and Chemar Holder missed out.
With Kieran Powell sidelined, Jeremy Solozano is the frontrunner to partner skipper Kraigg Brathwaite at the top, following his exploits in the recent Best v Best matches and training sessions in Antigua, which caught the attention of chief selector Roger Harper.
Shannon Gabriel, who had missed the home series against Pakistan with hamstring injury, has returned to the squad. Veerasammy Permaul, who last played a Test in 2015, has made a comeback, to join Rahkeem Cornwall and Jomel Warrican to complete the spin-bowling attack. Permaul replaced right-arm quick Alzarri Joseph, who wasn’t quite at his best during the Pakistan series.
"The Best v Best matches provided the opportunity for the players to spend some time in the middle honing their skills for this tour," Harper said. "The aim was to simulate as much as possible, the conditions that the team will likely face in Sri Lanka, so it was good to see the batsmen spending time at the crease while putting some scores together and the bowlers looking to build pressure and create wicket-taking opportunities.
"Jeremy played for the West Indies A team in 2019 (against India A) with success and in the Best v Best matches he displayed a sense of application, patience, and composure, while looking very comfortable against both pace and spin which encouraged the panel to invest in him at this point.
"The squad is well balanced, with good depth in all departments. The composition is very similar to the squad that brought us success in our last away tour to Bangladesh, with a few changes in personnel. There are a number of players who are familiar with Sri Lankan conditions and most of the others have good experience in the Indian subcontinent, so they know what to expect and are gearing themselves for it."
West Indies are scheduled to play a four-day warm-up game in Colombo, beginning November 14, before the two Tests to be played in Galle, the first of which begins November 21.
West Indies squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (capt), Jermaine Blackwood (vice-capt), Nkrumah Bonner, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Kyle Mayers, Veerasammy Permaul, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Jeremy Solozano, Jomel Warrican