ST JOHN’S, Antigua, CMC – Rovman Powell has been named as the surprise choice to lead West Indies in their three-match One-Day International series against Bangladesh, with Twenty20 skipper Carlos Brathwaite returning to the 15-man squad for the first time in eight months but oddly ignored for the captaincy.
The 25-year-old Powell is new to the role of captain and oversees the squad in the continued absence of regular skipper Jason Holder who is still recovering from the injury which put him out of the recent Test series.
Left-hander Darren Bravo has been recalled for the first time in two years since his controversial banishment from international cricket, while Roston Chase has also found his way back 18 months after a failed start to his ODI campaign.
However, the experienced trio of Evin Lewis, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine are all missing, raising further questions over their future.
Powell is a rising star in the limited overs format but struggled on the recent five-match tour of India where he managed just 61 runs at an average of 12, as West Indies lost 3-1.
Rovman Powell (left) appointed captain of the ODI squad over T20 skipper Carlos Brathwaite.
Brathwaite, meanwhile, who has led the T20 squad for the last two years, has forced his way back into the ODI squad after last appearing during the ICC World Cup qualifiers in Zimbabwe in March.
The 30-year-old all-rounder got the attention of selectors when he captained Combined Campuses and Colleges to the capture of the Regional Super50 in October, leading from the front by averaging 53 with the bat and grabbing 13 wickets with his medium pace.
Bravo, controversially excluded from selection due to his long-running squabble with Cricket West Indies president, Dave Cameron, will also suit up for the series in what will be a huge boost for the side.
The left-hander featured in the T20 series tour of India last month and his latest recall brings him one step closer to his return to Test cricket.
Chief selector Courtney Browne said Bravo’s presence would be key especially with the selection race tightening ahead of next year’s World Cup in England.
“With two more ODI Series before the 2019 World Cup, the Bangladesh series allows us to narrow our search for our final 15-member World Cup squad,” Browne said.
“In the absence of captain Jason Holder, the panel believes the team can still be competitive, especially with the return of Darren Bravo. Darren’s experience will add value to the batting, which in turn will place selection pressure for spots in the squad.”
However, Browne made no reference to the absence of Russell, Lewis or Narine – all of whom missed the recent India tour. While Russell and Narine were injured, Lewis pulled out for “personal reasons”.
However, all three played in the recent T10 League in Sharjah last week.
There is also no place either for left-hander Nicholas Pooran who averaged 48 for Trinidad and Tobago Red Force into the recent Super50, and struck three half-centuries.
And there has been another snub for burly all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall despite him averaging 46 and taking 14 wickets with his off-spin for Leeward Islands Hurricanes during the Super50.
The 25-year-old Antiguan has excelled at domestic and Windies A level with bat and ball but has been repeatedly ignored by selectors.
Chase, meanwhile, enters the ODI squad on the back of 34 runs from four innings in the Test series. He played eight ODIs last year, scraping 68 runs from six innings and was promptly dropped.
He, however, gathered 558 runs for Barbados Pride in the 2017-18 Super50 back in January this year.
West Indies face Bangladesh in the opening ODI on Sunday in Dhaka.
SQUAD – Rovman Powell (captain), Fabian Allen, Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Roston Chase, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Darren Bravo, Shai Hope, Carlos Brathwaite, Keemo Paul, Kieran Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Oshane Thomas.