A new era for West Indies Test cricket begins at the weekend and we’ve named our Predicted XI for the first match against Sri Lanka.
Kraigg Brathwaite has officially taken over from Jason Holder as captain following his impressive efforts while standing in for his fellow Barbadian in Bangladesh in February.
His first series as permanent skipper comes against a Sri Lanka side that sits one place above the West Indies in the ICC rankings but the tourists are potentially low on confidence after a recent home defeat to England.
After winning both the T20I and ODI series, the hosts will be looking to make it a clean sweep by dominating the two Tests.
West Indies Predicted XI vs Sri Lanka
Brathwaite is set to open the batting alongside John Campbell, who is yet to really make an impact at the highest level, but who impressed in a ‘Best v Best’ trial match at Coolidge last week.
Darren Bravo is in good form after a century in the third ODI and should return to the Test side at number three, with Nkrumah Bonner keeping his place at four after scoring two important fifties during his maiden series in Bangladesh.
Kyle Mayers, who scored a stunning double century on debut in Chittagong, is set to continue at five, while he is also likely to be the fifth bowler in the team.
Aggressive stroke-maker and vice-captain, Jermaine Blackwood, should come in at six.
Former skipper Jason Holder still has a very important role to play in this team as the no.1 ranked all-rounder in the world and he should bat at seven, with impressive young keeper Joshua Da Silva following at eight.
Three bowlers will complete the lineup, and although West Indies have often gone with an all-pace attack at home in recent years, conditions in Antigua dictate that at least one spinner is likely to play against Sri Lanka.
Rahkeem Cornwall is the favourite to take that spot after his heroics in Bangladesh, while barring any injuries in the build-up, the experienced pace duo of Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel will share the new ball.
West Indies Predicted XI for 1st Test vs Sri Lanka at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, 21st-25th March:
- Kraigg Brathwaite (C) (Barbados)
- John Campbell (Jamaica)
- Darren Bravo (Trinidad and Tobago)
- Nkrumah Bonner (Jamaica)
- Kyle Mayers (Barbados)
- Jermaine Blackwood (vc) (Jamaica)
- Jason Holder (Barbados)
- Joshua Da Silva (wk) (Trinidad and Tobago)
- Rahkeem Cornwall (Leeward Islands)
- Kemar Roach (Barbados)
- Shannon Gabriel (Trinidad and Tobago)