The big-hitting Shimron Hetmyer remained unavailable due to fitness issues as the West Indies named a 16-member squad for the T20 series against India, keeping faith in the outfit that defeated England in a five-match home contest earlier this month.
The three T20Is against India will be played in Kolkata on February 16, 18 and 20, following a three-match ODI Series which will be held in Ahmedabad on February 6, 9 and 11. West Indies have already named the ODI squad under Pollard.
Eleven players feature in both the limited-overs squads — Pollard, Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith and Hayden Walsh Jr.
Hetmyer was left out of the squad on fitness grounds once again. Earlier this month, West Indies head coach Phil Simmons had expressed unhappiness at Hetmyer’s attitude towards physical fitness.
The 25-year-old swashbuckler failed a fitness test prior to the series against England and has still not been found upto it. Coach Phil Simmons had stated that it was “heart-wrenching” to see him continuously “letting down himself and his team-mates.” “The team has been doing well in the Betway T20I Series against England in Barbados and we decided to stick with the same group of players. They have demonstrated great skill and fight and we expect the same kind of performances on the tour of India,” chief selector Desmond Haynes said while announcing the squad during the weekend.
All-rounder Odean Smith was also named in the squad despite a recent incident in which claims were made of him being “victimised” after being left out for the third T20I against England to make way for Rovman Powell.
The claims were made in a voice note sent to the media, the sender is not known yet.
Simmons and Cricket West Indies president Ricky Skerritt have termed the allegations “a malicious attack on the credibility of the West Indies captain, designed to sow division within our team”.
West Indies put up an impressive showing against England, winning the five-match T20Is series 3-2.