Ramdin out, Taylor calls time on Tests

West Indies have confirmed some big changes for their forthcoming Test series against India

West Indies have officially confirmed the replacement of wicketkeeper and former skipper Denesh Ramdin, while Jerome Taylor has become the latest West Indian to retire from Test cricket to focus on the shorter formats.

Shane Dowrich, who made his Test debut against Australia last year as a specialist batsman, has been named wicketkeeper for the four-Test series at home to India which starts in Antigua next Thursday.

Ramdin, a veteran of 74 Tests including four as captain before current skipper Jason Holder took over, last week took to Twitter to vent that he had been dropped. Ramdin claimed he had been told the selectors did not think his batting average was good enough.

Ramdin had scored 2,898 Test runs at an average of 25.87 and had scored 59 and 62 in his last two Test innings against Australia last summer in Melbourne and Sydney.

The new West Indies chairman of selectors Courtney Browne recently replaced champion captain and batsman Clive Lloyd. Ramdin's comments earned a sanction from the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) for a breach of the terms of his retainer contract, the board said.

Ramdin fights with plucky 59

Browne said he wanted greater emphasis on consistent performance and to create competition among Caribbean players for Test berths. 

"The selection panel is looking to create a competitive environment where players are fully accountable for their performances while meeting the standards consistently in each of the three formats of the game," Browne said in a statment from the West Indies Cricker Board.

"The methodology of selection will be further enhanced by the increased use of statistical analysis along with fitness standards. 

"The players will be monitored closely for all regional and international competitions." 

Taylor played 46 Tests for the West Indies and took 130 wickets in a 13-year Test career. His best bowling figures were 6-47 against Australia at Sabina Park in 2015. He also scored a Test century batting at No.8 against New Zealand in 2008.

Only Fidel Edwards (165) has taken more Test wickets for the Windies since the turn of the century. 

Dowrich, 24, played his only two Tests thus far against Australia in the Caribbean last summer, though he was used then as a specialist batsman, with Ramdin keeping wicket.

Dowrich scored 15, 70, 13 and 4 in those Tests and was dropped following the series.

The 12-man squad again does not include several of the most dynamic West Indies players, such as Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammy and Kieron Pollard, whose focus is on Twenty20.

Fast bowler Jerome Taylor is also missing after becoming the latest in a long list of players to quit the Test format, and Kemar Roach was dropped after his poor return against the Aussies last summer.

Left-handed batsman Leon Johnson earned a recall while uncapped middle-order batsman Roston Chase, who is also a handy off-spinner, has been included.  

West Indies' fortunes have diverged in recent years, with the Twenty20 team winning the world championship in 2012 and 2016, while Test performances have deteriorated sharply.

Fast bowler Jason Holder captains the team, which also includes the two batting heroes from the recent World Twenty20 triumph, Marlon Samuels and Carlos Brathwaite.

West Indies Test squad: Jason Holder (c), Kraigg Brathwaite (vc), Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Rajendra Chandrika, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Leon Johnson, Marlon Samuels

India Test squad: Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane (vc), Ravi Ashwin, Stuart Binny, Shikhar Dhawan, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami, Cheteshwar Pujara, Lokesh Rahul, Wriddhiman Saha, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Shardul Thakur, Murali Vijay, Umesh Yadav.

Meg Lanning Steve Smith