The 17-man squad will be trimmed to 13 ahead of the series opener
Trinidad & Tobago fast bowler Jayden Seales has bolted into West Indies’ provisional squad for the forthcoming two-match Test series against South Africa in St Lucia. The 19-year-old’s only first-class match so far was for West Indies A in New Zealand last December, and in all, he has played only ten professional games at senior level.
Seales was particularly impressive in the Team Hamilton vs Team Blackwood four-day intra-squad game more recently, taking 4 for 40 in the second innings, including the wickets of Shai Hope and Darren Bravo. He had first made an impression in the Under-19 World Cup in South Africa last year, claiming ten wickets in six matches at an average of 18.30 and economy rate of 3.89. He went on to bag a CPL deal with the Trinbago Knight Riders, who have retained him ahead of the upcoming season.
Hope, Roston Chase, and Kieran Powell were also rewarded with spots in the 17-member squad. The trio was not part of the squad for the recent home Test series against Sri Lanka. Jahmar Hamilton is the second wicketkeeper in the group behind Joshua Da Silva.
Hope’s last first-class game was the Manchester Test in July 2020, but in the intra-squad fixture, he scored 106, the highest score of the match.
Chase, who missed out on a West Indies central contract last month, sparkled both with ball and bat. After taking four wickets in the first innings for Team Hamilton, Chase closed out a three-wicket win with an unbeaten 45 off 50 balls in the second. Powell, who top-scored with 95 in that innings, too, earned a recall, after having played the last of his 40 Tests in Bangladesh in 2018. He replaced John Campbell who had managed only 68 runs in four innings at an average of 17 against Sri Lanka.
Seales bolsters the seam attack that already includes regulars – Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder and Kemar Roach, who is back from his stint with Surrey in county cricket. Roach brings with him strong form, having bagged a match haul of nine wickets in his most recent first-class game, at The Oval. As for Chemar Holder, he was unavailable for selection due to injury. Jomel Warrican will be assisted by Rakheem Cornwall and Chase in the spin attack.
Marquino Mindley, who had recovered from Covid-19, will remain in St Lucia along with fellow seamers Keon Harding, Preston McSween and Nial Smith to “assist the Test squad with their preparations”, a Cricket West Indies media release said.
The squad will be trimmed from 17 to 13 on June 7, three days before the tour opener at the Daren Sammy Stadium. The second – and final – Test of the series will be played at the same venue from June 18.
Squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (capt), Jermaine Blackwood (vice-capt), Nkrumah Bonner, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Jahmar Hamilton, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Jomel Warrican
Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo