Chris Gayle’s wish to play his final Test at home has not been granted by West Indies selectors. The Windies squad for two-match Test series has been announced and the Universe Boss has not been included.
Gayle, who had played his last Test match in September 2014, gave hint during the World Cup about playing one last red-ball match before bringing down the curtain finally on his international career. West Indies will be playing two Test matches against India starting from August 22, and the last Test will be staged from August 30 at Gayle’s home ground Sabina Park, in Jamaica. It could have been the perfect farewell Test for the legendary Caribbean cricketer.
From 103 Test matches Gayle has accumulated 7214 runs in Test cricket so far with a highest score of 333. But recently his usual charm has been almost confined to the limited overs cricket and franchise T20 leagues. His ability of playing long reliable innings was gone.
So the selectors have decided to remain practical and keep faith on the squad that earned a 2-1 series victory over England earlier this year at home. Injured Alzarri Joseph and Jomel Warrican have been kept out as off spinner Rahkeem Cornwall is all set to make his Test debut after taking 260 wickets at 23.90 apiece in 55 first class matches. West Indies ‘A’ team captain Shamarh Brooks is another new recruit.
A new record for Gayle
Gayle, in all likelihood, will appear for his last international match next Wednesday in the third ODI against India. An emotional Gayle by the time may become the highest run-getter for West Indies in the 50-over format surpassing Brian Lara. The southpaw is on the verge of etching his name in the history book of West Indies cricket as he is just nine runs away from achieving the feat. Lara has 10405 runs in 299 ODIs and Gayle currently has 10397 runs from 299 ODIs. Gayle will be the first West Indian player to appear for 300 ODIs. The washed-out first fixture saw him adding just four runs to his name but he should be able to accumulate seven runs in two matches and hopefully rain will not play the spoilsport.
If Gayle manages to score a century in this series and ends up with 107 runs, he will also become the leading run-scorer for the Windies against India in ODIs. He is currently at the fifth place with Desmond Haynes leading the charts with 1357 runs.
So whether he gets a Test farewell or not, he has all the opportunities to have a blast in his finale.
West Indies Test squad for India series
Jason Holder (c), Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach.