Meet West Indies’ new names: the seven uncapped players in Australia

ESPNcricinfo runs through the new-look West Indies squad, with some insights from Ian Bishop

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West Indies ramp up preparations for their series against Australia on Wednesday (Tuesday night Caribbean time) with a three-day game against a Cricket Australia XI in Adelaide.

They have a new-look squad with them, for a variety of reasons, including seven players uncapped at Test level. ESPNcricinfo runs through those who could debut next week, with insights from Ian Bishop.

Zachary McCaskie (27, top-order batter)

First-class record: Matches 11 | Runs 641 | Average 30.52 | Hundreds 0

Despite being 27, McCaskie only made his first-class debut less than a year ago and has yet to score a century (although has one in List A cricket). Made 92 and 55 not out in his fourth match against Trinidad and Tobago, batting for over six hours in the game.

“I was probably thinking about my scores a little much in the games prior,” he told Cricket West Indies’ YouTube channel at the time.

“So I tried to have a free mind and it ended up paying off. It was a great feeling to be able to win a game for Barbados and be there at the end. I wanted to put up my hand and say I’m leaving it for no one else”

He followed that with 93 in the Headley-Weekes Tri series, where he opened alongside Tagenarine Chanderpaul, and was selected for the A tours of Bangladesh and South Africa.

On the latter he made two half-centuries in the second four-day game in East London.

Tevin Imlach

Tevin Imlach (27, wicketkeeper)

First class record: Matches 17 | Runs 612 | Average 24.48 | Hundreds 1

Imlach was part of the West Indies Under-19 side that won the 2016 World Cup and will likely be the reserve keeper for this tour.

In the final of that tournament he pulled off a unusual stumping to remove Rishabh Pant who had taken guard outside of his crease to Alzarri Joseph, left the ball alone and Imlach underarmed at the stumps.

“Very clever,” Bishop recalled.

His limited first-class record is in part because Guyana had a number of senior keepers in front of him after the Under-19 World Cup.

His maiden first-class century came last year against Jamaica when he made 136 not out. Was the vice-captain on the recent A tour of South Africa.

“He confesses not to have any extraordinary stories in terms of his development but he’s a nice touch batsman,” Bishop said.

Justin Greaves

Justin Greaves (29, seam-bowling all-rounder)

First class record: Matches 37 | Runs 1268 | Average 26.97 | Hundreds 1 | Wickets 76 | Average 22.76 | Five-wickets 4

An all-rounder who had a good domestic one-day tournament last year but has just one first-class century dating back to 2017. Has played international cricket with three ODIs against Ireland in 2022 where he was a batter-only due to back problems.

In last year’s four-day Championship he took 16 wickets at 16.06 for Windward Islands having previously played for Barbados.

“He’s a little bit of a surprise [selection] actually,” Bishop said.

“He’s a nice little utility player. He can open the batting as he does in one-day cricket, bat in the middle, and is a nice touch player. When he played for West Indies Under-19s it was as an all-rounder, [and he] sometimes opened the bowling for Barbados with his fast-medium or medium-fast bowling but his batting has taken over in the last two or three seasons.”

Kavem Hodge

Kavem Hodge (30, batting all-rounder, left-arm spinner)

First-class record: Matches 55 | Runs 2762 | Average 29.07 | Hundreds 4 | Wickets 55 | Average 37.80 | Five-wickets 1

Like Greaves, was part of the 2012 Under-19 cohort. The left-arm spinner and middle-order batter played three ODIs against UAE last year.

Has four first-class centuries, the most recent of which was his career-best 137 last March where he batted five-and-a-half hours and formed a stand of 246 with Alick Athanzne.

Batted at No. 4 on the recent A tour of South Africa. Bowling-wise, his career-best 6-68 dates back to 2019 against Trinidad and Tobago.

“He bowls, I’d say, left-arm darts,” Bishop said.

“It’s not filled with great variation but he can bat like four or five in the order and he’s been a workmanlike sort of cricketer around the regional circuit since his Under-19 days. He’s not a spectacular looking player, but a very practical player.”

Kevin Sinclair (24, off-spinner, all-rounder)

First-class record: Matches 21 | Runs 976 | Average 31.48 | Hundreds 0 | Wickets 66 | Average 24.33 | Five-wickets 4

Internationally, the most experienced of the seven players uncapped at Test level with 13 white-ball games under his belt. He is perhaps most famous for his somersault celebrations.

Has impressive domestic bowling returns across all three formats and could be an all-round option in the middle order depending on the balance of the side. Across two A series in Bangladesh and South Africa he took 25 wickets at 25.80 and averaged 46.12 with the bat.

Has previously picked the brain of Bangladesh’s Mehidy Hasan about how to improve his red-ball bowling.

“An off-spinner who is very tidy and I’m surprised he hasn’t made more headway in competition with someone like a Roston Chase,” Bishop said.

“Kevin loves his batting. While we see Kevin as a bowling all-rounder he sees himself as a batting all-rounder and had a very useful tour of South Africa with the bat. An up-and-coming all-rounder…and a very good fielder as well. He’s an evolving bowler and won’t back down from a challenge.”

Akeem Jordan (29, pace bowler)

First-class record: Matches 15 | Wickets 59 | Average 22.08 | Five-wickets 2

Jofra Archer slept on Jordan’s floor as he tried to make his way in county cricket. Jordan himself only made his first-class debut in 2022 but has a handy record across 15 matches.

He was part of the Test squad that toured South Africa early last year and played a couple of ODIs against UAE. Took 5-45 against Bangladesh A in Sylhet then helped them to victory with 22 not out.

“He is very skillful, can bowl the new ball, and looks to put the ball in the right areas. He is also a sharp fielder and good catcher close to the wicket,” Desmond Haynes, West Indies’ lead selector, said when he was included for South Africa.

“Medium-fast who swings the ball. He can bring it in a little bit and can seam it,” Bishop said.

“Those are his major strengths. One of those all-round talents whose bowling with the new ball will be [about] swing and perhaps be more of a probing [role] rather than someone who will scare you [with pace].”

Shamar Joseph (Photo: CWI Media)

Shamar Joseph (24, pace bowler)

First-class record: Matches 5 | Wickets 21 | Average 21.80 | Five-wickets 2

The 24-year-old has just five first-class matches under his belt but is viewed as a very exciting prospect. Not long ago he was working as a security guard to help look after his young family.

Made his first-class debut early last year and claimed 12 wickets in two matches on the A tour of South Africa. Was also part of the Guyana Amazon Warriors squad which won the CPL.

“I’ve been putting in a lot of work lately, training hard, so I’m extremely happy,” he told News Room Guyana after his call-up. “I learned a lot [in South Africa]. We had one of the great fast bowlers, Shaun Tait, with us so he taught us a lot. I don’t want to get carried away by the fast wickets [in Australia], just stick to the basics.”

Bishop said: “Through sheer hard work he moved to Georgetown. When you see him there’s not an ounce of fat on him. A very diligent, hardworking, fast-medium bowler and quicker than the others we’ve mentioned. Very skiddy. I first ran into him live last year when West Indies were playing in Guyana and I caught a sight of him in the nets and he has hustle, bustle and really comes at you. There’s a lot of high hopes for him because of his attitude and because of his physical capabilities.” (ESPNcricinfo)

 

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