Left-handed batter Alick Athanaze and right-arm seamer Akeem Jordan were named in the 15-member West Indies squad for the upcoming two-Test series in South Africa. Lead selector Desmond Haynes praised the two future prospects. “Athanaze is one of the young players who we have invested in, and he played well in the ‘A Team’ and CWI President’s XI,” Haynes said. “He showed great promise in the CG United Super50 last year and then got his first hundred in the West Indies Championship last week. We believe he should be given an opportunity at this level. He has also showed leadership, as captain of the Windwards at the start of this season. “Jordan has been very impressive from last year, he has continued to bowl well, and has been excellent in the first two matches so far this year,” Haynes added while discussing Jordan. “He is very skillful, can bowl the new ball, and looks to put the ball in the right areas. He is also a sharp fielder and good catcher close to the wicket. This will be a challenging tour. There is no easy away tour in Test cricket. South Africa have a good team, but I am sure we will be up for the task and will do well in these two Test matches.” The incoming Athanaze and Jordan have shown good form in the first two rounds of the ongoing four-day West Indies Championship. Athanaze, who also captains Windward Islands, had scores of 41 and 51 against Trinidad & Tobago Red Force and followed it up with a career-best 141 against Guyana Harpy Eagles. Jordan had match figures of 5-86 against Guyana and followed it up with a 7-113 against Jamaica Scorpions. He is the leading wicket-taker in the West Indies Championship after two rounds of matches, reports ICC. West Indies are currently placed sixth in the ICC World Test Championship standings, while South Africa are placed fourth. A series win can help the West Indies move above the Proteas in the standings.
The two-Tests will be followed by a white-ball series. The squads for the same will be named at a later date. Test Squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Jermaine Blackwood (vc), Alick Athanaze, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Akeem Jordan, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach, Devon Thomas Fixtures February 28 to March 4: 1st Test at SuperSport Park, Centurion March 8-12: 2nd Test at the Wanderers, Johannesburg March 16: 1st ODI at Buffalo Park, East London (day/night) March 18: 2nd ODI at Buffalo Park, East London (day/night) March 21: 3rd ODI at JB Marks Oval, Potchefstroom March 25: 1st T20Is at SuperSport Park, Centurion March 26: 2nd T20I at SuperSport Park, Centurion March 28: 3rd T20I at the Wanderers, Johannesburg