West Indies hard-hitting opener Chris Gayle has not been picked for the West Indies Test squad which will face India in the two-match Test series which starts from August 22. The 39-year-old batsman wanted to play the series but he was not considered by the West Indies Cricket Board, instead spin bowling all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall was selected.
Off-spinner Cornwall has picked up 260 wickets from the 55 first-class games he has played and is the leading bowler in the regional circuit in the four-day tournament.
Robert Haynes, the head of Cricket West Indies's interim selection panel, said, according to ESPNCricinfo, that the off-spinner's consistent performances in recent times have earned him a place in the Test squad.
"Rahkeem has been performing consistently over a long period of time and has proven to be a match-winner, so we believe his elevation to the Test squad is merited at this time," he told ESPNCricinfo.
The interim chief selector further went on to say that the spinner is also good with the bat and they expect him to make a valuable contribution in the five-day format of the game.
"We believe he can provide an attacking option to our bowling attack with his sharp turn and extra bounce. He can also lend a bit of depth to the batting, so we are looking forward to him coming into the squad and making a valuable contribution," he added.
Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph who has the best bowling figures in IPL history also did not get his place in the squad as he is still recovering from an injury. He suffered a tear in his right arm and was last seen in IPL playing for Mumbai Indians.
Haynes said that they did not want to risk the pacer keeping in mind the upcoming tours.
"Alzarri is undergoing remedial work and we are monitoring his recovery. But we do not think he is ready yet for last five days of a gruelling Test match. He represents a key part of West Indies future and we do not want to rush him back. We have two important series coming up later in the year in India and we want to be very careful how his recovery is managed."
Chris Gayle, after the World Cup, had said that he will retire from international cricket after India's tour of West Indies and would like to play in the Tests as well.