West Indies captain Jason Holder won the toss and chose to bat first on the opening day of the first Test of a three-match series against Sri Lanka at the Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad on Wednesday.
Playing their first Test cricket for six months, the hosts have recalled 36-year-old opening batsman Devon Smith who last represented the regional side against England in his native Grenada in 2015.
Smith comes in at the expense of attacking middle-order batsman Shimron Hetmyer while Kieran Powell, the regular opening partner alongside Kraigg Brathwaite throughout the 2017 season, is expected to be shifted to number three in the batting order to accommodate Smith’s return.
Seeking their first-ever Test series triumph in the Caribbean at the fourth attempt, SriLanka have opted to go with a bowling attack showing a balance of spin and pace. Rangana Herath, the most successful left-arm spinner in Test history, will again be expected to do the bulk of the work, especially in the latter stages of the match.
He will have Dilruwan Perera as slow bowling support while skipper Dinesh Chandimal will be looking to the experience of Suranga Lakmal with the new ball to make early inroads into the West Indies batting line-up. Lakmal will have fellow seamers Lahiru Gamage and Lahiru Kumara in support.
West Indies: Jason Holder (capt), Kraigg Brathwaite, Devon Smith, Kieran Powell, Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich (wicketkeeper), Kemar Roach, Devendra Bishoo, Miguel Cummins, Shannon Gabriel
Sri Lanka: Dinesh Chandimal (capt), Kusal Mendis, Kusal Perera, Roshen Silva, Angelo Mathews, Niroshan Dickwella (wicketkeeper), Dilruwan Perera, Rangana Herath, Suranga Lakmal, Lahiru Gamage, Lahiru Kumara.
Umpires: Aleem Dar (PAK), Richard Kettleborough (ENG)
Match Referee: Javagal Srinath (IND)