Chris Gayle returns to the Windies ODI side to face England
What's the story?
The 39-year-old big-hitting Jamaican batsman, Chris Gayle is set to make his return to the ODI side of West Indies, after missing the tours of India and Bangladesh. The Windies selectors announced their squad for the five-match ODI series against England scheduled to take place after the Test series between the two teams.
England are currently touring Windies for a three-match Test series, five-match ODI series and a three-match T20I series. Two out of the three Tests of the series have ended with the hosts surprisingly winning both of them. Having sealed an unassailable lead of 2-0, Windies will be looking to whitewash England before the ODI series. The ODI team which was announced today includes Chris Gayle, who is making his return to the team after a long hiatus.
The heart of the matter
The Chairman of Selectors, Courtney Browne, said: "As we continue our Cricket World Cup preparations, the upcoming series against the top-ranked ODI side is a great opportunity for us to gauge where we are as a team."
He added: "We welcome the return of Chris Gayle who missed the last two series and Ashley Nurse from injury. We are pleased to introduce Nicholas Pooran to the ODI squad for the first time. He is clearly a young player with undoubted talent and we believe he can add value to our middle order."
Here's the squad of the home side for the first two ODIs - Fabian Allen, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Christopher Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder (Capt), Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas.
Chris Gayle last played an ODI for Windies way back in July 2018, however, the Universe Boss had been playing in the T20 leagues all over the world while staying away from international cricket.
The left-handed batsman has hit 9,727 runs in 284 ODI matches and in the last ODI series he played against England, he averaged 43.25, so it will be interesting to see how he performs versus the same opposition this time.
Looking at how the Windies dominated the Test series, the home team would be looking to repeat the same performance against the top ODI team in the world, England. The first ODI match between England and West Indies will take place on 20th February.