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West Indies call up uncapped Rahkeem Cornwall for India Tests

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Fast bowlers Oshane Thomas and Jomel Warrican have been excluded from the West Indies Test squad for the two-match home series against India, while Rahkeem Cornwall has earned a call-up.

Thomas and Warrican were a part of the squad in their successful home series against England earlier this year, where West Indies claimed a 2-1 victory over the visitors.

The decision to leave out Thomas might have stemmed from fatigue management: the seamer was a part of their ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 squad as well as the Twenty20 international and ODI series against India. Warrican, meanwhile, has lost his place to uncapped all-rounder Cornwall.

Cornwall comes into the squad as a back-up to Roston Chase and a lower-order batting option. The 26-year-old was impressive in the first unofficial Test against India A, returning one half-century and four wickets. Turning out for Leeward Islands in the domestic set-up, he has 260 wickets in 55 first-class matches, along with 13 half-centuries and a top-score of 101*.

“Rahkeem has been performing consistently over a long period of time and has proven to be a match-winner, so we believe his elevation to the Test squad is merited at this time,” said Robert Haynes, the head of West Indies' interim selection panel. “We believe he can provide an attacking option to our bowling attack with his sharp turn and extra bounce. He can also lend a bit of depth to the batting.”

Alzarri Joseph is still recovering from the shoulder injury he picked up before the World Cup
Alzarri Joseph is still recovering from the shoulder injury he picked up before the World Cup

Pacer Alzarri Joseph, who is still recovering from the shoulder injury that ruled him out of the World Cup, has missed out. “Alzarri is undergoing remedial work and we are monitoring his recovery, but we do not think he is ready yet to last five days of a gruelling Test match,” Haynes explained. “He represents a key part of West Indies future and we do not want to rush him back. We have two important series coming up later in the year in India and we want to be very careful how his recovery is managed.”

The series, which starts 22 August, marks the beginning of the ICC Test Championship for both countries.

Squad: Jason Holder (c), Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach.

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