Uncapped Miguel Cummins named in West Indies squad for 1st Test
The West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has added uncapped fast bowler Miguel Cummins to the original 12-man squad announced a couple of days ago for the first Test against India which begins at Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Antigua from July 21. After the sudden retirement of speedster Jerome Taylor just prior to the squad announcement took the WICB by surprise, the team has now been bolstered by the addition of the Barbados fast bowler.
32-year-old Taylor, who played 46 Tests for the West Indies since making his debut in 2006, picking up 130 wickets at an average of 34.46, announced his retirement from Test cricket in order to concentrate on the shorter formats of the game.
With the Carribean side losing patience with pacer Kemar Roach, who has struggled in the longer format of the game having picked up just four wickets in his last seven Test matches, 25-year-old Cummins has been given a chance to prove his worth.
The inclusion of Cummins also points to the approach newly instated Chairman of Selectors Courtney Brown wants to take with the West Indies team with eyes firmly set on the future rather than past reputation.
”The selection panel of the West Indies Cricket Board today named fast bowler Miguel Cummins as the replacement for Jerome Taylor in the 13-member squad to face India in the upcoming first Test match against India,” the WICB stated in its press release.
Cummins, who has played 41 first-class matches and taken 116 wickets at an average of 22.56, made his One-Day International (ODI) debut against Ireland in 2014, which till now remains his solitary appearance for the national side. He came close to getting his chance in the Test format with West Indies’ previous assignment in the format – the 2015/16 tour of Australia.
After fast bowler Shannon Gabriel injured his ankle on the very first day of the first Test at Hobart, thereby ruling him out of the three-match series, Cummins was called in as his replacement but was not selected for either of the two remaining Test matches.
Though Cummins will be hoping to finally get his due, he will a little short of match experience in the longer formats as he last played a first-class match in March in the WICB professional cricket league regional four-day tournament, ending with 33 wickets from 10 games at an average of 20.69.
West Indies squad for first Test – Jason Holder (capt), Kraigg Brathwaite (vc), Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Rajendra Chandrika, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Leon Johnson, Marlon Samuels.