West Indies skipper, Jason Holder, is still the number-one Test all-rounder in the world even as his side is set to take on the might of India on Thursday.

Holder became the leading all-rounder in the five-day game last January after scoring an incredible double hundred against England before going on to take two wickets in a game the West Indies would win by 381 runs.

Among West Indies pacers, Holder is the highest ranked at eight, with Kemar Roach second at 11th.

Shannon Gabriel is ranked a place below Roach at number 12.

The Test-bowling rankings are led by Australia’a Pat Cummins, while South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada is second, followed by injured England paceman, Jimmy Anderson.

The West Indies are not as well off in the batting rankings, with opener Kraigg Brathwaite leading the way at 36th. Holder’s contribution with the bat comes next with the all rounder standing at 37th.

Roston Chase at 41, Shane Dowrich at 46, and Shimron Hetmyer at 48 are next.

Those ranking are led by India skipper Virat Kohli, while Australian Steve Smith comes next at second after his Lord’s heroics. New Zealand’s Kane Williamson is third.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is not taking seriously, an email which purported there was an imminent threat to the Indian cricket team currently in the West Indies on tour.

The Indian cricket team has already gone through three T20 internationals and three One Day Internationals in the Caribbean, with the first match of a Test series set for Antigua on August 22.

The BCCI have contacted authorities in Antigua regarding the threat and will be beefing up security, though the threat is being viewed as a hoax.

“We have briefed the home ministry and shared the email. The embassy in Antigua has also been contacted and briefed. The Mumbai police has also been informed and the security of the Indian team in the West Indies has been beefed up," BCCI CEO Rahul Johri had told Indian media.

Regional all-rounder Rahkeem Cornwall is confident of making an impact for the West Indies in the Test format, having performed consistently at the four-day format for several seasons.

The selection of the 26-year-old Cornwall raised a few brows earlier this month, as many doubt the athlete’s physical conditioning for the longest format. 

Regionally, however, there is very little doubting Cornwall’s record.  The all-rounder was the leading wicket-taker, with 54, in last season’s regional first-class tournament and followed that up with a haul of 23 wickets in List A and first-class games against England Lions earlier in 2018.  In the recent series against the touring India A, Cornwall took an impressive nine wickets in six matches.

"I believe the Test format suits my game because of the consistency a player needs over a long period of time to be successful, and I've enjoyed that challenge so far in my career playing first-class cricket," Cornwall told the Cricket West Indies website.

"The feeling [on getting called up] is great - it's something I've been pushing to achieve for a long time,” he added.

"I've been putting in a lot of work over the last couple of months. I've always pushed myself. I feel I can go on and I think the on-field results I've achieved have shown the progress I'm making."

If selected, Cornwall could make his debut against India when the series bowls off at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium on Thursday.

Test players Darren Bravo and John Campbell have been included in a 14-member West Indies “A” squad for the three-day, Tour Match against India, starting Saturday at the Coolidge Cricket Ground, Antigua.

Windies captain Jason Holder has bemoaned the team’s inability to take crucial chances following yet another loss to India in the second One Day International (ODI) at Queen’s Park Oval.

India took a 2-0 lead, on the back of a brilliant 114 from Virat Kohli, after securing a 6-wickets win via the DLS method on Tuesday.  Anchored by 72 from talisman Chris Gayle the Windies put up a competitive 240 and got off to a good start after dismissing Rohit Sharma with 25 runs on the board.

  Kohli, batting on 11, was surprised by a Keemo Paul with a delivery that went past him as he tried to make room to play on the leg side and caught an inside edge, he was, however, dropped behind by Shai Hope.

"We have got to hold our chances and we didn't hold them today. [Kohli] made us pay for it," Holder said.

"Credit to him he batted really well and he won the game for India in the end.  They got off to a really good start and so did we. I think it was a really, really good wicket for cricket. Conditions got a little tougher in the afternoon after the rain fell. The ball was a bit wet and the outfield was obviously very wet, too. It didn't work for us today."

Chris Gayle's ODI career may not be over as the West Indies opener stated he "didn't announce any retirement" after blasting a quickfire half-century in the defeat to India on Wednesday.

Gayle raised his helmet on his bat and shook hands with India players as he left the field in the final match of the series in Port of Spain, where he smashed 72 from only 41 balls.

The 39-year-old was given a standing ovation following what was thought to be his last international innings in the 50-over format.

Yet, in a brief clip posted on the Windies' Twitter account, Gayle later declared: "I didn't announce any retirement". He then added that he would be around "until further notice".

Windies captain Jason Holder confirmed there had been no word on Gayle quitting ODIs.

"To my knowledge, he hasn't retired," said the skipper, whose opposite number Virat Kohli saw the tourists home with a second successive century.

"But today was an example of his career. The knock he played was outstanding. He got us off to a really good start.

"He was entertaining, he showed presence, and that's just what people have come to expect of Chris Gayle over the years."

On Sunday, Gayle broke Brian Lara's record for both ODI appearances and runs in the second match of a series which India won 2-0.

Chris Gayle produced a typically dazzling display of big hitting but for his early fireworks were overshadowed by Virat Kohli, who hit an unbeaten century to help India clinch the ODI series in Port of Spain.

Three days after he overtook Brian Lara to become West Indies' record run-scorer in the format, Gayle flayed India's bowlers for a 41-ball 72, an innings that contained eight fours and five sixes.

His onslaught came to a tame end when he hit Khaleel Ahmed to Kohli at mid off, the left-hander – wearing a shirt with the number 301 on the back to mark his number of appearances - propping his helmet on the top of the handle before holding his bat up to the crowd as he returned to the pavilion.

West Indies finished on 240-7 after rain reduced their innings to 35 overs, with the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method adjusting India's target would be 255, a score they reached with six wickets and 15 balls to spare thanks to Kohli's unbeaten 114.

The touring captain's knock – plus 65 from 41 deliveries from Shreyas Iyer – means India win the three-match series 2-0 after the opener was wiped out by bad weather.

Gayle's innings in potentially his final ODI was the West Indies' key contribution, though opening partner Evin Lewis also made a handy 43 in a stand of 115, while Nicholas Pooran later cleared the ropes three times in a breezy 30 from 16 balls.

West Indies then had India in trouble at 92-3 in the 13th over of their reply, Fabian Allen taking two wickets in three balls as he removed Shikhar Dhawan and Rishabh Pant.

Kohli and Iyer led the recovery after the double setback, their 120-run partnership transforming the match as the latter matched Gayle's of five sixes before he was caught by Jason Holder off Kemar Roach.

Kedar Jadhav contributed 19 not out but it was Kohli who finished the West Indies off, hitting back-to-back boundaries off Carlos Brathwaite as he followed up his 120 on Sunday with another impressive ton.

The teams will next face each other in two Tests, the first of which begins on August 22.

Chris Gayle scored a typically brutal half-century in what looked set to be his final ODI appearance for West Indies.

Three days after he overtook Brian Lara to become West Indies' record run-scorer in the format, Gayle flayed India's bowlers for a 41-ball 72 in Port of Spain.

Boundaries accounted for 62 of the runs from the tall left-hander, who hit eight fours and five sixes in a crowd-pleasing innings.

It came to a tame end when he looked to play another big shot against Khaleel Ahmed, who had come in for early punishment.

Rather than find the ropes again, Gayle picked out India captain Virat Kohli at mid off and the catch was safely taken.

Gayle, whose match shirt carried the number 301 to signify his number of ODI appearances, was surrounded by well-wishing Indian fielders after his innings ended.

He chose to play on after West Indies' disappointing Cricket World Cup performance, despite saying in March he had played his final home ODIs.

But the 39-year-old signalled this would be his last ODI series, and if he stays true to that decision it will leave him free to concentrate on a lucrative T20 franchise career.

India's players offered what appeared to be warm words to Gayle, who walked off in a theatrical manner with his bat raised, his maroon batting helmet balanced on its top.

West Indies and India were contesting the final match in their three-game ODI series and, besides the attention on Gayle, there was plenty to play for.

The first was abandoned due to rain, before India won the second match that, like Wednesday's contest, was also played in Port of Spain.

West Indies all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite is confident his side can bounce back from their 59-run defeat Sunday to level their ODI series against India in the second ODI in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad.

Uncapped trio Anrich Nortje, Senuran Muthusamy and Rudi Second have been included in South Africa's Test squad for the tour of India, while Quinton de Kock will captain the Twenty20 side.

Paceman Nortje, all-rounder Muthusamy and wicketkeeper-batsman Second were among the 15 players selected for a three-match series in October.

There are also three new faces in the squad for three contests in the shortest format, with batsman Temba Bavuma, spinning all-rounder Bjorn Fortuin and Nortje getting the nod.

Aiden Markram, Theunis de Bruyn and Lungi Ngidi were omitted from the T20 squad as they will be warming up for the Tests by playing in a four-day match against India A.

Faf du Plessis will continue to skipper the Test side, but he will not feature in the T20 series, so De Kock leads the side and Rassie van der Dussen will be his vice-captain.

Bavuma will be Du Plessis' deputy in the Test series, with Enoch Nkwe installed as interim team director following head coach Ottis Gibson's sacking after a poor Cricket World Cup for the Proteas.

Hashim Amla last week retired from international cricket after Dale Steyn called time on his Test career.

 

Test match squad: Faf du Plessis (captain) Temba Bavuma, Theunis de Bruyn, Quinton de Kock, Dean Elgar, Zubayr Hamza, Keshav Maharaj, Aiden Markram, Senuran Muthusamy, Lungi Ngidi, Anrich Nortje, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, Kagiso Rabada, Rudi Second (VKB Knights).

  T20 squad: Quinton de Kock (captain), Rassie van der Dussen, Temba Bavuma, Junior Dala, Bjorn Fortuin, Beuran Hendricks, Reeza Hendricks, David Miller, Anrich Nortje, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Jon-Jon Smuts.

Chris Gayle broke two of Brian Lara's ODI records but a sublime century from Virat Kohli inspired India to a 59-run victory in Port of Spain and a 1-0 series lead over West Indies with one match to play.

Gayle surpassed Lara to become the first West Indian to make 300 appearances in the 50-over format and also moved past the great left-hander's record tally of 10,348 ODI runs at the Queen's Park Oval on Sunday.

The opener fell for only 11 soon after making history and Bhuvneshwar Kumar took 4-31 as Jason Holder's side were bowled out for 210, chasing a revised target of 270 to win from 46 overs after a couple of rain delays – Evin Lewis top scoring with 65.

Kohli (120) was the star of the show, the India captain crafting a 42nd ODI hundred and setting a record of his own for the fewest innings to score 2,000 ODI runs against one nation in his 34th knock against the Windies.

The classy Kohli also moved past Sourav Ganguly into second on the all-time list of India's leading ODI run-makers and held three catches, while Shreyas Iyer scored an excellent 71 in India's 279-7.

Sheldon Cottrell gave the Windies an ideal start by trapping Shikhar Dhawan leg before from the third ball of the match, but Kohli – who won the toss – and Rohit Sharma set a platform with a second-wicket stand of 74.

Kohli was in ominous touch from the start of his latest masterclass, scoring freely on both sides of the wicket, and Iyer provided great support for his skipper after Rohit and Rishabh Pant departed.

India were 101-3 in the 23rd over when Carlos Brathwaite (3-53) bowled Pant, but Kohli and the impressive Iyer frustrated the Windies with a fourth-wicket stand of 125.

Kohli crunched Holder back over his head for six and pointed to his name on his shirt to celebrate yet another hundred before holing out off Brathwaite and Iyer followed after hitting a six and five fours.

Gayle was given a standing ovation and a shake of the hand by Kohli when he surpassed Lara's tally, but Bhuvneshwar sent him on his way soon after leg before.

Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer also failed following a second rain delay, but Lewis dug in for a fluent half-century despite suffering a calf injury before Kohli rose to remove the opener with a sharp one-handed catch at extra cover off Kuldeep Yadav.

Nicholas Pooran played his shots to give the Windies hope, but Bhuvneshwar dismissed him for 42 and took a brilliant catch off his own bowling to get rid of Roston Chase as India secured a comfortable win.

Chris Gayle broke Brian Lara's ODI run-scoring and West Indies appearance records before falling cheaply after India captain Virat Kohli made another sublime century in Port of Spain.

Gayle marked his historic 300th match in the 50-over format by bettering the great Lara's tally of 10,348 runs at the Queen's Park Oval on Sunday.

The 39-year-old opening batsman was given a standing ovation and a shake of the hand from Kohli when he set the record in Lara's hometown.

Gayle was five ahead of Lara when he fell for only 11, failing with a review after he was trapped leg before wicket bang in front by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, reducing the Windies to 45-1 in reply to 279-7 in the second match of the series.

Kohli earlier produced another masterclass, moving above Sourav Ganguly into second on the list of leading India ODI run-scorers with a magnificent 120 from 125 balls.

The classy skipper struck a six and another 14 boundaries and Shreyas Iyer made 71 after the tourists had won the toss.

Kohli also set a record for the fewest innings to score 2,000 ODI runs against one nation in what was his 34th knock against the Windies.

Rahkeem Cornwall has received a surprise maiden Test call up for West Indies for their upcoming series against India.

Antiguan off-spinner Cornwall has been included in the 13-man squad selected for the Windies' squad, having impressed for Leeward Islands Hurricanes in the West Indies Championship.

The six-foot five-inch 26-year-old has taken 260 wickets in 55 first-class matches and will be handed his chance to shine on the international stage in the two-match series, which begins on August 22.

Cornwall, who featured in an ODI against England for the West Indies Cricket Board President's XI in 2017, has also proven himself as a lower-order batsman, averaging just under 25 in 97 innings.

"Rahkeem has been performing consistently over a long period of time and has proven to be a match-winner, so we believe his elevation to the Test squad is merited at this time," said chief selector Robert Haynes.

West Indies claimed a 2-1 victory over England earlier in 2019, though Alzarri Joseph and Jomel Warrican have not been recalled despite featuring in that series.

All-rounder Keemo Paul, a replacement for Test captain Jason Holder when he was forced to miss the final Test of the England series, has retained his place.

West Indies Test squad for India series in full: Jason Holder (c), Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, John Campbell, Roston Chase, Rahkeem Cornwall, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Keemo Paul, Kemar Roach.

Chris Gayle made just four runs on his 299th ODI appearance for West Indies as the first match of their series with India was abandoned due to rain.

Having elected not to retire after the World Cup as initially planned, Gayle matched Brian Lara's one-day appearance record on Thursday, though he failed to impress with the bat and made just four runs from 31 deliveries.

After a delayed start, the Windies survived unscathed for five overs before the weather closed in once more, halting play.

When the action resumed, the home side looked in good shape as Evin Lewis clicked into gear, hitting two sixes and a pair of fours in the space of seven balls.

But while Lewis - who finished up unbeaten on 40 - was upping the scoring rate, Gayle could not get into his stride. He eventually succumbed to a full delivery from Kuldeep Yadav, edging onto his own stumps.

Shai Hope came in to replace Gayle, though the match would not last much longer, with the rain returning. Following several pitch inspections, the officials called off the game with West Indies having reached 54-1 in 13 overs.

Gayle will have the chance to atone for his disappointing display in the second match of the three-game series on Sunday.

Windies skipper Carlos Brathwaite was left to rue another sub-par performance with the bat as India secured a 7-wickets win, in the ultimate match of the T20 series, at Providence Stadium and with it a 3-0 sweep of the regional team.

After losing the toss and being sent to bat, the Windies found themselves in early trouble when they lost Sunil Narine (2) to the bowling of Deepak Chahar.  Chahar would go on to remove Evin Lewis (10) and Shimron Hetmyer (1) en route to man of the match honours.  Once again, the regional team’s top order had failed to fire, losing their first three wickets for 14 runs.

Experienced middle-order batsman Kieron Pollard brought some respectability back to the innings after scoring a quick 58 from 45 balls, before being bowled by Navdeep Saini.  Rovman Powell also did his best to add to the total with an unbeaten 32 from 20 balls, as the Windies fought to 146 for 6.  In reply, half-centuries from India captain Virat Kohli (59) and Risbah Pant (65*) ensured that the visitors chased down the target with relative ease.  O’Shane Thomas was the best of the Windies bowlers after ending with figures of 2 for 29.

"We didn't start well with the bat again. Kudos to Pollard. As a team, we talked about progress, we took it to the last over. We knew 140 was below par but the bowlers fought again,” Brathwaite said.

“I'm not sure why the top-order isn't firing. Today, we didn't start well - if the top three play the way they do, we may have to take some decisions, but if they play how we know they play, we can get 180 easily,” he added.

“I, personally, need to perform as skipper. We have had some changes in the squad, so we need to establish ourselves as a unit further. We have seen some restructuring in batting from game to game and we are still searching for our perfect batting."

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