West Indies have announced a 15-member squad for the two-Test series against Zimbabwe starting February 4th and the squad sees the return of veteran pacer Shannon Gabriel, who last played a Test in November 2021 against Sri Lanka in Galle.
Gabriel was among the top wicket-takers in the world across 2017 and 2018, taking 71 wickets in 17 Tests @ 23.94, but a drastic drop in form post 2018 — 41 wickets in 16 Tests @ 38.02 — saw the Windies completely move away from the 34-year-old.
But now, 14 months on, the Trinidad-born seamer, who represented Yorkshire in the County Championships last year, has been recalled to the Test side.
Gabriel replaces Jayden Seales, who misses out due to a knee injury.
“With our fast bowlers, Seales has done extremely well for us since he started back in 2021, but with him unavailable we have decided that Gabriel would be best able to fill that role,” Lead selector Desmond Haynes said.
“He (Gabriel) is an experienced bowler who has been at the international level for over 10 years and has knowledge of the conditions in Zimbabwe when we won there in 2017.”
The Windies have also picked two left-arm spinners, Gudakesh Motie and Jomel Warrican, both of whom did not travel to Australia.
“We looked at the conditions we anticipate playing in, and have included two left-arm spinners who didn’t go to Australia in Motie and Warrican,” Haynes said.
Seales is not the only seamer that misses out due to injury as the Windies will also be without the services of Anderson Phillip. But the selectors opted against adding an extra seamer to replace Phillip in the squad.
Outside the aforementioned changes, the squad is near-identical to the one that traveled Down Under a couple of months ago. Shamarh Brooks, who registered scores of 33, 11, 8 and 0 in Australia, is the only specialist batter that’s been dropped.
The first of the two Tests will be played at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo from February 4th.
West Indies Test squad to face Zimbabwe
Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Jermaine Blackwood (vice captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Tagnarine Chanderpaul, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach, Devon Thomas, Jomel Warrican