The recently drafted trio of Raymon Reifer, Vishaul Singh and Chandrapaul Hemraj could easily bully their way into the Windies Test team for the upcoming England series should they capitalise on their Cricket West Indies (CWI) President’s XI selection.
England will arrive in the Caribbean in about a week’s time as they prepare to lock horns with the Windies in the biggest home series featuring ODIs, T20Is, and Tests in more than a decade. With the three-match Test series starting from January 23,
the regional players are all gunning to impress the selectors ahead of the tour as they seek to cement spots in an ever-changing Windies Test team.
Reifer has been on the Windies radar for a long time, having played for the A team as well as one solitary Test match versus New Zealand back in 2017. The left-hander snapped up two wickets in the game and scored 29, but has not yet been featured in the Windies colours despite being selected for other tours.
With a strong Regional Super50 showing back in October of 2015 with six fifties and wickets under his belt, the left-arm seamer immediately showed his hunger for an international recall after hitting a solid 75 upon his return to national duty in the third round versus his Barbadian countrymen. His drafting to the President’s XI team now offers up a fresh start for the all-rounder, who could easily slot into the side should he take wickets or score runs – preferably both.
Singh’s re-entry into the Test team could be a little easier after playing three Tests also back in 2017 and scoring just 63 runs. Singh, a regular in the Windies A team over the years, has been a top-performer for Guyana with his 14 fifties and eight hundreds which depict a lot for physically the smallest man in the Jags 4-Day
“Cheesy”, as he’s normally called, ended the second round of the 4-Day as the leading run-scorer for Guyana with knocks of 75 and 90, which apparently turned the selectors’ heads. Singh could use his chance in the tour game to get a big score or a few big scores and walk back into the Windies middle order where he could possibly remain should runs continue to flow.
With a majestic 144 just a few days ago after being called back to the Jaguars team for the third round against the Barbados Pride, Hemraj is the front-runner of the three who could feature in the Test side. The left-hander has played six ODIs for the West Indies, looking strong and capable of performing at the international circuit, but has not carried his phenomenal form regionally onto the big stage.
However, the opener signalled his intentions to possibly replace a straggling Kraigg Brathwaite in the Test team by smashing a ton on the first day which set a foundation for the Jaguars, who continued their unbeaten run this season.
In all, all three players will have two games – four innings to prove to selectors that they are indeed the man or men who could help the Windies team topple a strong Joe Root-led England side to glory on home soil, come the next few weeks when the battle commences.