West Indies have decided a bit more pace in the squad is necessary, calling up the youngster Alzarri Joseph for the second Test match against India in Jamaica. India won the first Test, comprehensively, by an innings and 92 runs.
While both facets of West Indies' performance left a lot to be desired in the first Test, with their bowling giving away way too many runs in the first innings and their batting failing to cope with the pressure of hauling down a big score, despite having 20 wickets to play with, the selectors have decided some raw pace talent is the answer, selecting the 19-year-old fast bowler. Joseph becomes the 14th member of the squad, with the rest of the 13 remaining the same from the first Test match.
Joseph has only played eight first-class matches in his career, from which he has taken 24 wickets, but he caught the eye in the U-19 ICC Cricket World Cup, earlier this year, when he took 13 wickets, to end up as the joint-highest wicket-taker.
West Indies won that tournament, beating Rahul Dravid's India in the final, and the home team will hope that fortune rubs off on the senior team as well as Jason Holder's men look to get back into the series.
"We feel that Alzarri, who led the attack so expertly in the Youth World Cup (U-19 WC) earlier this year in Bangladesh, will now benefit from the professional guidance of our coaching staff and the presence of fast bowling legend Joel Garner as manager," West Indies chairman of selectors Courtney Browne said.
"As we develop our Test team, we see this as a positive step in the process."
Positivity is what West Indies need after a dismal show in the first Test match, where Virat Kohli and R Ashwin made merry while the sun shone in Antigua with the bat, before the India fast bowlers took over the wicket-taking proceedings in the WI first innings. After that, Ashwin showed his potency with the ball, when provided with even the slightest of assistance, finishing with a seven-for in the second innings to wrap up a man of the match performance and a convincing win for his team.
It remains to be seen if Joseph will be given an opportunity to play his first international match – West Indies also have Miguel Cummins in the squad, who could also get an opportunity – but whatever team is picked for the Jamaica game, which begins from Saturday, the performance needs to improve ten-fold if the home team are to make this Test match series against India a contest.
West Indies squad for second Test: Jason Holder (C), Kraigg Brathwaite, Rajendra Chandrika, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Leon Johnson, Shane Dowrich (wk), Carlos Brathwaite, Devendra Bishoo, Shannon Gabriel, Miguel Cummins, Alzarri Joseph.