Non-selection of Jaguars in alternative Windies squads a slap in the face

By Brandon Corlette

West Indies have selected alternative squads to tour Bangladesh. With 13 seasoned players opting out of the tour owing to personal reasons, injury concerns and Covid-19, it was an opportunity for some of the alternative players who did well in Regional cricket to make the two squads. That was the case for some of the players in the squads but for the Jaguars, most of them would have counted themselves unlucky.

Some of the Guyana Jaguars players are disappointed after their non-selection on the Bangladesh tour

After recent updates, only two Guyana Jaguars’ players will travel to Bangladesh. Veerasammy Permaul and Raymon Reifer. Over the years, Jaguars have been the most consistent team in the Regional 4-Day championships, winning five trophies in their last six seasons. In the Super50 format, Jaguars have not found the winning recipe. However, they have been some strong individual performances.
Captain Cool
Jaguars inspirational leader, Leon Johnson led his troops brilliantly and with regular Test captain Jason Holder opting out of the Bangladesh tour, this was a perfect opportunity for Johnson to display his great leadership quality.

Leon Johnson

Lead Selector of Cricket West Indies, Roger Harper indicated that Johnson was considered as test captain but the selection pannel opted for the Barbadian, Kraigg Brathwaite. During the tour to New Zealand, Roston Chase replaced Brathwaite as the vice-captain of the West Indies, now, in the next tour, Brathwaite is captain of the Test team.

Christopher Barnwell

Brathaite led the Pride to last year’s Regional 4-Day title but his leadership skills is no match to Johnson’s. Kraigg has led the West Indies in five matches and lost all five of those encounters. The phrase that comes to mind with captain Kraigg’s appointment is: “we need to move backwards.”
Some may argue that Johnson did not live up to his expectations with the bat consistently, but he did not get an extended opportunity like others. If not as captain, then Johnson should have made the Test squad based on his recent Regional 4-Day stats. He scored 472 runs in 14 innings at an average of 36 while Brathwaite made 468 runs in 15 innings at an average of 33.42.
Big Barnwell
For the past three seasons, Christopher Barnwell has done all the talking with his bat in the Regional Super50 tournaments. In addition to that, Barnwell has scored runs in last season Regional 4-Day and he made important breakthrough with ball in hand.
On one occasion, the selector says X and on the other occasions selector says Y. Some of the so called outstanding Regional players in the West Indies squads does not have the luxury to boast a better record in Super50 cricket than Barnwell.
The mature right-hander, Barnwell, scored 351 runs in the 2019 Super50 Cup and 435 runs in the Regional 4-Day tournament. That speaks volume since the all-rounder made that transition with ease.
The other guys
Based on current form and previous West Indies ODI experience, Chandrapaul Hemraj, who was the leading run-scorer in the USA Open would have fancy his chances in the ODI squad. For the wicket-keepers slot, Anthony Bramble should have made the cut.
West Indies have not selected a reserve list, and some of the players in the ODI squad will perform roles of reserve players in the Tests. Joshua Da Silva is the lone wicket-keeper in the Test squad and if there is any injury scare to Da Silva (God forbids), then a wicket-keeper from the ODI squad will have to be drafted into the Test squad. Hence, one of the reason why Jahmar Hamilton was selected in the ODI squad.
Another argument that can be brought to the table is that Hamilton scored more runs than Anthony Bramble in the last Regional Super50, but still that does not fully justify Bramble’s non-selection, since the Guyanese glovesman has been impressive in the Regional 4-Day tournament in previous seasons.
Bottom line, the non-selection of some of the Guyana Jaguars players is a slap in the face. It is saying that the Guyanese players are not good enough for the Roger Harper-led selection pannel.
January 10: West Indies arrive
January 18: One-day warm-up match, BKSP, Savar
January 20: 1st ODI, SBNCS, Dhaka
January 22: 2nd ODI, SBNCS, Dhaka
January 25: 3rd ODI, ZACS, Chattogram
January 28-31: Four-day warm-up, M.A. Aziz Stadium, Chattogram
February 3-7: 1st Test Match, ZACS, Chattogram
February 11-15: 2nd Test Match, SBNCS, Dhaka
West Indies Test Squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Jermaine Blackwood (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, John Campbell, Rahkeem Cornwall, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Kavem Hodge, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Shayne Moseley, Veerasammy Permaul, Kemar Roach, Raymon Reifer and Jomel Warrican.
West Indies ODI Squad: Jason Mohammed (captain), Sunil Ambris (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Joshua Da Silva, Jahmar Hamilton, Chemar Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Andre McCarthy, Kjorn Ottley, Rovman Powell, Raymon Reifer and Hayden Walsh Jr.