Still buzzing with confidence after beating Sri Lanka in the recently concluded T20 and ODI (One Day International) matches, the Kraigg Brathwaite led West Indies team will look to continue their recent winning ways tomorrow when they face Sri Lanka in the first Test Match, which bowls off at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in Antigua.
The home team will be looking to grab hold of the Sobers – Tissera trophy which is currently in the hands of the Sri Lankans.
For the West Indies, head coach, Phil Simmons and his technical staff there is hope that the following players named in the 13-man squad, who has played test matches against Sri Lanka will come to the fore.
Former captain, Jason Holder 5 matches, 263 runs at an average of 29.22, highest score 74; he has taken 15 wickets for 260 runs at an average of 17.33.
Kraigg Brathwaite, 5 matches, 207 runs at an average of 23.00, his highest score 59 not out; Brathwaite has picked up 7 wickets for 47 runs at an average of 7.83.
Darren Bravo, 5 matches, 350 runs at an average of 50.00 with a highest score of 80.
Jermaine Blackwood 2, 123 runs at an average of 30.75, highest score 92.
Kemar Roach, 8 matches, scored 169 runs at an average of 28.16, highest score 39/ Bowling: 23 wickets for 628 runs at an average of 27.30.
Shannon Gabriel 4 matches grabbed 21 wickets for 375 runs at an average of 17.85.
Jomel Warrican one match, picked up 6 for 129 runs at an average of 21.50.
In terms of overall Tests matches, Brathwaite leads the current team under with 66, he has so far scored 3876 runs at an average of 32.57; highest score 212; 8 centuries and 20 half centuries.
Kemar Roach is next in line with 61 caps, he has so far scored 907 runs; highest score 41 and has picked up 205 wickets at an average of 27.90.
Back into the West Indies set up, left hand, top order batsman Darren Bravo has played 56, scored 3538 runs at an average of 36.47, his highest score 218, 8 centuries and 17 half centuries to his name.
Right arm fast bowler, Shannon Gabriel has played 52, scored 216 runs at an average of 4.40; highest score 20 not out; he has picked up 150 wickets at an average of 30.74.
All rounder, Jason Holder has played 45, scored 2115 runs at an average of 32.04; his highest score 202 not out; 3 centuries and 9 half centuries; Holder has also grabbed 116 wickets at an average of 27.94.
Overall, Jermaine Blackwood has played 35; scored 1903 runs at an average of 32.25, highest score 112 not out, 2 centuries and 14 fifties.
Jomel Warrican has played 10 matches, scored 150 runs at an average of 18.75, highest score 41/ bowling: 32 wickets at an average of 36.15.
The other players in the squad with Test experience – Alzarri Joseph (14); John Campbell (13); Rahkeem Cornwall (5); Joshua Da Silva (3); two each for Kyle Mayers and Nkrumah Bonner.
For the Sri Lankans, they will be keen to get things right after being comprehensively outplayed by England at home in their last Test series in January when they loss the two Test matches by 7 and 6 wickets respectively. Scores: 1st Test, Sri Lanka 135 and 359; England 421 and 76 for 3. In the 2nd Test, Scores: Sri Lanka 381 and 126; England 344 and 164 for 4.
Against the West Indies, Sri Lanka has a superior head-to-head record in Test matches. They have won nine Tests to West Indies’ four, while seven games have ended in a draw.
The two teams have played nine times in the Caribbean, with the West Indies winning four games and Sri Lanka managing two wins. Three matches have so far ended in draws.
The two-match Test series will be part of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC). West Indies are in sixth position following their impressive two Test series win in Bangladesh last month. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka are placed in eighth spot in the table.
The top two spots for the WTC have already been decided, with India taking on New Zealand from Friday 18th – Tuesday 22nd June at Lord’s.
The West Indies squad reads: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain); Jermaine Blackwood (vice-captain); John Campbell, Kyle Mayers, Nkrumah Bonner, Darren Bravo, Joshua Da Silva (wicketkeeper), Alzarri Joseph, Jason Holder; Rahkeem Cornwall, Kemar Roach, Jomel Warrican and Shannon Gabriel.
Leading the Sri Lankans charge is captain and opening batsman Dimuth Karunaratne; Karunaratne who has so far played 68 Tests matches, scored 4657 runs at an average of 36.66, with a highest score of 196; total number of centuries 10 and 24 fifties. Karunaratne is Sri Lanka’s 17th captain. He has captained Sri Lanka in 10 Test matches, won 4, lost 4 and drawn 2.
Also in the squad – Shanaka, Pathum Nissanka, Oshada Fernando, Lahiru Thirimanne, Dinesh Chandimal, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella, Roshen Silva, Dhananjaya de Silva, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ramesh Mendis, Vishwa Fernando, Suranga Lakmal, Asitha Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera and Lasith Embuldeniya.