Lewis withdraws from WI squad; Powell and Pooran called up

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Opener Evin Lewis has withdrawn from the limited-overs leg of West Indies’ tour of India, citing personal reasons. Kieran Powell will replace him in the ODI squad while Nicholas Pooran, who last played for West Indies in 2016, will take his place in the T20I squad.

Lewis’ absence is a major blow to the ODI line-up that does not include Chris Gayle or Andre Russell. Gayle, who is currently playing in the Afghanistan Premier League and will join the T10 league after that, had made himself unavailable for selection for the India and Bangladesh tours. Russell was picked for the T20Is but not the ODIs because he “has been ruled out of all 50-over cricket due to injury”.

Lewis had turned down a white-ball contract offered to him earlier this month, before being named in both the ODI and T20I squads for the India tour. Powell’s ODI record, meanwhile, isn’t encouraging: he has 901 runs in 38 innings at an average of 23.71 and a strike-rate of 78.27.

Left-arm quick Obed McCoy, who found a place in the T20I squad, has now been added to the ODI squad as well, as cover for Alzarri Joseph, who “remains under observation for his return to full fitness” according to a Cricket West Indies release. Joseph continues to recover from a stress fracture of the back suffered late last year.

McCoy’s left-arm variety and slower cutters stood out even as the rest of the St Lucia Stars faded away in the CPL earlier this year. He played only seven games for Stars but ended as their joint-highest wicket-taker, with nine wickets at an economy rate of 7.8.

Pooran, Lewis’ replacement in the T20I squad, had a productive CPL 2018 as well. He had scored 267 runs in 10 innings for Barbados Tridents at an average of 33.37 and a strike-rate of 144.32.

The limited-overs series begins with the first ODI in Guwahati on October 21.

West Indies’ updated limited-overs squads

ODI squad: Jason Holder (capt), Fabian Allen, Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kieran Powell, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Oshane Thomas, Obed McCoy.

T20I squad: Carlos Brathwaite (capt), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Obed McCoy, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Sherfane Rutherford, Oshane Thomas (ESPNCricinfo)

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