Ramnaresh Sarwan, the West Indies batsman, has been dropped for the third and final Test against India in Dominica. Kieran Powell, a 21-year-old batsman from Leeward Islands, has been named as his replacement.
Sarwan, 31, has struggled since his return to the Test squad after nearly one-and-a-half years for the series against Pakistan in May. He managed only 54 runs in four innings against Pakistan, and his form nosedived further in the series against India, in which he scored only 29 runs over the first two Tests. Sarwan seemed to have been informed of his axing soon after the second Test in Barbados ended in a draw. An hour after bad light ensured a draw, Sarwan tweeted: "Wishing the guys all the best in Dominica! Miami here I come."
Clyde Butts, chairman of the selection committee, expected Sarwan to make a strong comeback. "Ramnaresh is having a difficult time and it is best for him to make way and allow a player in better form to contribute to the team totals," he said. "We have no doubt about Ramnaresh's class as a batsman, he has proven himself countless times in the past and we are certain that he will return stronger in the near future."
Sarwan's replacement, Powell, played two one-dayers for West Indies in 2009, when the entire first-choice team pulled out of a home series against Bangladesh and the Champions Trophy in South Africa due to a contract dispute. He was among the first batch of players to train at the Sagicor High Performance Centre after it was established in 2010. He has played 23 first-class matches since his debut in 2008 and averages 38.91.
"Kieran is young but has been on the first-class circuit for some time and is a former Windies Under -19 World Cup player," Butts said. "He did well for the West Indies A and scored an impressive hundred against England Lions in the WICB Regional 4 Day Tournament but got injured subsequently. We believe he has bright future and this is an excellent opportunity for him to show his worth on the international stage."
West Indies are trailing 0-1 in the series against India and need to win in Dominica, which will host its first ever Test from July 6.
Squad: Adrian Barath, Lendl Simmons, Darren Bravo, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Marlon Samuels, Carlton Baugh (wk), Darren Sammy (capt), Fidel Edwards, Ravi Rampaul, Devendra Bishoo, Kirk Edwards, Kemar Roach, Kieron Powell