Windies welcome back speed kings

West Indies will have fast bowlers Jerome Taylor and Kemar Roach back from injury for the first Test against New Zealand, starting in Jamaica on Sunday.

Offspinner Shane Shillingford is also included in the squad for the match at Sabina Park, Kingston. He was cleared to return to international competition recently after a ban for an illegal bowling action.

Also returning to the 13-man squad is Sulieman Been, the left-arm spinner who had been ignored for a couple of years. Dwayne Bravo is out though having been injured during an Indian Premier League game last month.

Taylor has been plagued by injury since making his debut 11 years ago. He returned to competitive cricket for Jamaica in a one-day match against the touring Ireland side in February and came through okay.

Then he confirmed his fitness by finishing as the second-highest wicket-taker for Jamaica in the Regional Four Day Competition, claiming 25 wickets in eight games at an average of 25.28. Taylor’s last Test appearance was against Australia, in Brisbane in November 2009.

Barbadian Roach had become the region’s No.1 fast bowler in Taylor’s absence but he has not played a Test since the home series against Zimbabwe in March 2013.

A shoulder injury forced him out of the India tour last November after which he had surgery. Roach has been working with Barbados Cricket Association coach Vasbert Drakes, West Indies coach Ottis Gibson and his Maple teammate Corey Collymore to help recover. All three are former West Indies fast bowlers. Roach escaped serious injury following a car accident in Barbados a couple of months ago but did not aggravate the injury.

Shillingford was suspended for an illegal bowling action in December on the West Indies tour of New Zealand. He made a successful return to competition with a match haul of 11 wickets for Windward Islands in a Regional Four Day Competition game in March and cleared for an international return. The Dominican offspinner, however, cannot bowl his “doosra,” as it remains illegal.

West Indies squad: Denesh Ramdin (capt), Sulieman Benn, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Kirk Edwards, Shannon Gabriel, Chris Gayle, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Shane Shillingford, Jerome Taylor.

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