Captain Chris Gayle has been named in a 14-man squad for the third Digicel Test against Australia but selectors have ended opener Devon Smith’s misery, as the regional side searches for a historic series-leveling win next week.
Gayle has not played in a Test in the series so far because of a groin injury that has kept him out of action since the final One-Day International of the Sri Lanka series in April.
Speculation is that Gayle will suit up for the all important clash against the Aussies starting on Thursday at Kensington Oval, Barbados strengthening the top order that has struggled with the out-of-form Smith.
The 26-year old left-hander managed scores of 32, 28, 16 and 0 in the series and has given way to Guyanese Sewnarine Chattergoon who has recovered from injury.
Chattergoon, 27, played a single Test against Sri Lanka earlier this year but has been sidelined since with a shoulder injury.
Impressive Barbadian pacer Kemar Roach has also been included and is the only other change to the squad that drew the second Test at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in Antigua last week.
Head coach John Dyson said this week that once Gayle was cleared by the medical staff, they would be willing to risk the Jamaican for the crucial match.
‘Providing he feels as though the injury is not going to be further damaged throughout the Test,’ Dyson said.
‘He might have to put up with a little bit of discomfort and we’ll get the opinion from the medical team.’
West Indies lost the opening Test at Sabina Park in Jamaica by 95 runs before playing to a draw on a placid pitch in Antigua last week.
They have not scored a series win over Australia in the Caribbean since 1991 and have lost every series to their arch-rivals since drawing the four-Test series in 1999.
SQUAD: Chris Gayle (captain), Ramnaresh Sarwan (vice captain), Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Sulieman Benn, Dwayne Bravo, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Fidel Edwards, Xavier Marshall, Runako Morton, Daren Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Kemar Roach, Darren Sammy, Jerome Taylor. (CMC)