Dwayne Smith will replace Chris Gayle in the West Indies One Day International (ODI) squad for the one off ODI against Ireland at Sabina Park, Jamaica today and the subsequent three-match series against England in Antigua.
According to the West Indies Cricket Board, Gayle experienced stiffness in his lower back following the first Twenty20 International against Ireland on Wednesday and did not play in the second T20 on Friday.
Smith, who was in the T20 side, was called up as Gayle’s replacement for the four upcoming matches.
The Barbados all-rounder, Smith, and the other West Indies batsmen had a tough time in the two-match T20 series against Ireland, being restricted to 116 for eight in the first game and 96 for nine in the second.
The hosts lost the first game but bounced back with a 11-run win in the second after some good bowling from spinners Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine and pacers Krishmar Santokie and Daren Sammy.
Santokie had figures of 4-0-12-1 to mark a successful return to international cricket while Badree had figures of 4-1-13-1 and Narine had 4-0-12-1 as West Indies restricted Ireland to 85 for eight off 20 overs. Sammy had 4-0-22-3.
The ODI skipper Dwayne Bravo, who took one for 24 in the second T20I against Ireland, will be looking for a similar effort from his bowlers in today’s game which bowls off at 9.30 a.m. (10.30 a.m. TT time).
And while the batting did not come good in the T20s, some new faces in the line-up could make a difference.
Bravo’s younger brother Darren comes into the squad for the ODI along with pacer Miguel Cummins and opening batsman Kieran Powell and middle order batsman Kirk Edwards.
The West Indies batting should be strengthened by the arrival of Edwards, Darren Bravo and Powell.
For Ireland, today’s encounter will be another opportunity for them to bolster their ODI credentials but the regional team holds the edge. The two sides met in four ODIs with the regional team winning three and the other being abandoned.
Speaking about the home team’s bowling performance on Friday, Badree said: “It wasn’t an excellent day in terms of our batting, so as bowlers, we knew we had to step up and do it for the team.
“The pitch was one where you had to bowl ‘wicket to wicket’ and I knew my lines and lengths would be vitally important. I knew I had to pick up wickets and restrict the scoring,” he added.
Santokie, who was playing his first match for the Windies since 2012, said: “I’m happy to be back and in the maroon colours and get this win and level the series.
“It was a boost for me playing in front my home crowd for the first time. Even though the runs were small, we bowled really well and kept the ball in good areas...that was the key to victory today,” he added.
The home team’s bowling could also hold the key to their success today.
Dwayne Bravo (captain), Darren Bravo, Miguel Cummins, Kirk Edwards, Jason Holder, Nikita Miller, Sunil Narine, Kieran Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Marlon Samuels, Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith.
William Porterfield (captain), Paul Stirling, Ed Joyce, Gary Wilson, Niall O’Brien, Kevin O’Brien, Andrew Poynter, Max Sorensen, Alex Cusack, Tim Murtagh, George Dockrell.