Port-of-Spain: Veterans Sunil Narine and Kieron Pollard will return to the West Indies squad for the first two Twenty20 Internationals against India, while wicket-keeper batsman Anthony Bramble gets a maiden call-up.
All-rounder Andre Russell, whose World Cup was cut short by a knee injury, has been included in the 14-member squad subject to fitness, Cricket West Indies announced on Tuesday.
Narine last played in the West Indies maroon back in 2017. Although he had been informed by the new selection panel that he was in contention for a spot in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 squad, a finger injury ruled him out before the squad was announced. In the years he missed out on national selection, the mystery spinner has been a regular in T20 leagues around the world, with his pinch-hitting as useful as his bowling.
Pollard featured in the tour of India in 2018, making his first national appearance in a year. He didn't make the cut for the World Cup, but remains firmly in the Caribbean team's T20 plans.
Chris Gayle has opted out of the series while he plays a T20 league in Canada, leaving the door open for John Campbell, also a left-hand opener, to take his place in the Carlos Brathwaite-led squad.
Khary Pierre, the left-arm spinner, who featured in the 'A' series against the visiting Indians gets a chance to add to his three T20Is, while Bramble, 28, has been rewarded for domestic performances. He also led West Indies B to the final of the Global T20 tournament in Canada.
"We figured that though Nicholas Pooran will be the first-choice wicket-keeper, we needed to have someone to deputise in case something unexpected happens and Bramble is the perfect choice," said Robert Haynes, interim chairman of the CWI selection panel. "He is young and has a lot of ambition, and we saw his character come out in the way he batted whenever Guyana Jaguars were in problems in the West Indies Championship and Super50 Cup, so we know he is capable of getting the job done."
Haynes described the squad as "an excellent balance of experience and youth", chosen with one eye on next year's ICC Men's T20 World Cup, where West Indies will look to defend their title. The first two T20Is of the India series will be on August 3 and 4 at Lauderhill, Florida. The final match will be on August 6 in Guyana.
Squad: Carlos Brathwaite (capt), Anthony Bramble (wk), John Campbell, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Sunil Narine, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Rovman Powell, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas.(UNI)