Jason Holder has been rested from West Indies’ squad for the first two ODIs against Ireland, to be played in Barbados on January 7 and 9. This is the only change from the most recent ODI squad that completed a tour of India last month, with its strength dropping from 15 to 14.
“The decision was taken to rest Jason due to the heavy workload he has had over the last year,” chief selector Roger Harper said in a statement. “With an important year ahead for West Indies cricket, we saw this as the best opportunity to give him a break to recharge his batteries and refresh his mind so he could be ready to perform at his best as our Test captain throughout 2020, as the number one ranked all-rounder in Test cricket and an important member of the team in the white ball formats.”
The lack of major changes in the squad reflects West Indies’ gains from their India tour. They lost both the ODI and T20I series against India by 2-1 margins, but pushed the hosts hard, with a number of the younger players showing promise for the future. Before that, the team played a full series against Afghanistan in India, completing a 3-0 ODI sweep and winning the solitary Test but losing 2-1 in the T20Is.
“The Afghanistan and Indian series told me that the team is making very positive strides,” Harper said. “Winning the ODIs against Afghanistan, our first ODI series win for five years, followed by the very competitive performance in against India is testament to that. The team demonstrated a determination to compete and gave it every effort.
“Against India the batting was consistent and while the bowling had its moments, it is clear that we have to improve our ‘death’ bowling. However, the fact that the team played in such an organised and competitive manner consistently augurs well going forward.
“This series against Ireland offers us the opportunity to build on the performances in India, build confidence as a team and for individual players. Just like the series against Afghanistan, the Ireland series is an important one for us, one we must win.”
The ODI series against Ireland, which concludes with the third match in Grenada on January 12, will be followed by three T20Is in Grenada (January 15) and St Kitts (January 18 and 19).
West Indies ODI squad: Kieron Pollard (capt), Sunil Ambris, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Evin Lewis, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Hayden Walsh
Source: ESPN Crickinfo