Bridgetown: The West Indies A side will face India A in a series opener four-day match starting here on Saturday, with players from the home team looking to impress selectors for a recall to the senior setup.
Openers Kraigg Brathwaite and Lendl Simmons, along with leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo, are all expected to line up against the touring Indians at Kensington Oval, in the side led by Veerasammy Permaul. With the senior West Indies team due to face England in a limited overs series later this month and hosts New Zealand in a Test and limited overs series immediately following, the trio will be focused on dominating.
"The A Team serves several purposes, and sometimes players lose form, and this series will be a chance for players like Bishoo and Brathwaite to regain their form and look to get back into the senior side. They are both young, talented players and they have a lot to offer to West Indies cricket," said Stuart Williams, the Assistant Coach.
"In the case of Simmons, he had an injury and he will want to use this series to prove his fitness and readiness to return. He was excellent for the West Indies in limited-overs cricket last year and he will want to get back in the groove and re-start his international career," said Williams.
The 19-year-old Brathwaite has played nine Tests but was dropped after failing to score in three of his last four innings, during the recent series against Australia. Simmons, meanwhile, was forced to undergo surgery after suffering a broken finger back in February during the regional first class championship, and is now returning to action.
The aggressive right-hander has been one of the West Indies most successful one-day batsmen over the last year, accumulating a century and two half-centuries in his last seven innings. Bishoo has served as the West Indies' frontline spinner since last year's World Cup in the subcontinent but loss of form against Australia saw him miss out on the Test tour to England.
The Caribbean unit will face an experienced Indian side that includes the likes of Rohit Sharma who has already played 80 ODIs and Abhinav Mukund, who has played six Tests.
"The Indians have brought a team with some experienced players so this series will be a good test for us. It is always good to compete against good, strong opposition and push yourself to the limit," said Williams.
The Barbados contest will be the first of the three-Test series with matches also scheduled for Arnos Vale in St. Vincent June 9-12 and Beausejour Cricket Ground in St Lucia June 16-19.
West Indies A: Veerasammy Permaul (captain), Jason Holder (vice captain), Devendra Bishoo, Nkrumah Bonner, Kraigg Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Kyle Corbin, Delorn Johnson, Leon Johnson, Kevin McClean, Donovan Pagon, Lendl Simmons, Devon Thomas (wicketkeeper).
India A: Cheteshwar Pujara (captain), Wriddhiman Saha (vice captain/wicket-keeper), Abhinav Mukund, Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Sharma, Ashok Dinda, Jalaj Saxena, Parviner Awana, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Robin Bisht, Akshay Darekar, Sami Ahmed.