BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC – Ramnaresh Sarwan paid the ultimate price for his failures in the first two Tests against India.
The 31-year-old batsman has been dropped for the final Test, starting on Wednesday at Windsor Park in Dominica, following a lean patch form that has dogged him in the last few months.
Sarwan did not seem too upset by his omission, when he tweeted shortly after the drawn second Test at Kensington Oval: “Wishing the guys all the best in Dominica! Miami, here I come!”
Left-handed opener Kieran Powell has been named as his replacement, but Clyde Butts, chairman of the West Indies selectors, backs Sarwan to make a bright return.
“Ramnaresh is having a difficult time, and it is best for him to make way and allow a player in better form to contribute to the team totals,” said Butts.
“We have no doubt about [Sarwan’s] class as a batsman, he has proven himself countless times in the past, and we are certain that he will return stronger in the near future.”
Runs have been at a premium for Sarwan, since his return to the Test side, following an absence of close to two years, when his fitness was under a cloud.
He scored 54 runs in four innings in the preceding series against Pakistan, and has been a passenger for the four innings he played against India, gathering 29 from the same number of trips to the crease.
The 21-year-old Powell is one of the attendees at the West Indies High Performance Centre in Barbados.
He played two One-day Internationals for West Indies, when the first-choice players went on strike two years ago during the Bangladesh series and the ICC Champions Trophy in South Africa.
Powell has played 21 first-class matches since his debut three years ago, averaging 38.91, and seemed to be on his way to a successful season this year before injury sidelined him.
“Kieran is young, but has been on the first-class circuit for some time, and is a former Windies Under-19 World Cup player,” said Butts.
“He did well for the West Indies A-Team, and scored an impressive hundred against England Lions in the WICB Regional first-class championship, but got injured subsequently.
“We believe he has a bright future, and this is an excellent opportunity for him to show his worth on the international stage.”
Powell has been working for the past few weeks at the HPC under the guidance of head coach Andre Coley, the former Jamaica wicketkeeper/batsman, and batting coach Carl Hooper, the former Guyana and West Indies captain.
Powell’s inclusion also comes on the heels of a string of failures for Lendl Simmons, and offers West Indies a chance to shift him down the order.
West Indies trail 0-1 in the three-match series, following a 63-run defeat inside four days in the first Test at Sabina Park in Jamaica.
Squad: Darren Sammy (captain), Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh Jr, Devendra Bishoo, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Fidel Edwards, Kirk Edwards, Kieran Powell, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons.