Bridgetown, June 26: As reconciliation between West Indies opening batsman Chris Gayle and the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB)remains a moot point, the tall Jamaican dasher continues to stay out of the Test squad even as the hosts and India gear up for the second encounter starting Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the board has axed vice-captain Brendon Nash for incessant poor form as he scored just 1 and 9 in the Windies' 63-loss against India at Kingston last week and has accumulated a mere 53 runs in his previous 6 innings. Kirk Edwards has been recalled to take his place with Marlon Samuels waiting in the wings as well.
"It is clear that Brendan has been struggling for form for some time and we want to give him a chance to take some time away from international cricket and work on his game," Clyde Butts, the chairman of selectors, said. "
In the absence of Gayle and Nash, the burden on middle-order batsmen Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Ramnaresh Sarwan increases. "Shiv has the ability", said former West Indies fast bowler Ian Bishop. "I won't say he was careless in getting out in the Test match. One bounced on him and one hit a crack. He will go back and work hard and will lead this West Indies batting line-up. He is the one guy who can play the Dravid-type innings.
Meanwhile, Indian captain M S Dhoni refrained from the continuing absence of Gayle. "I won't say this West Indian side is a weaker side, " observed Dhoni. "If you look at the talent they have in their top six or seven batsmen, then they are equally matched with the current Indian team".
West Indies squad : Adrian Barath, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Marlon Samuels, Carlton Baugh (wk), Darren Sammy (capt), Fidel Edwards, Ravi Rampaul, Devendra Bishoo, Kemar Roach, Kirk Edwards.