West Indies star all-rounder Andre Russell has ruled himself out of the first two T20Is against India in Florida. The 31i-year-old had only just returned to action after knee surgery, but a CWI press release on Friday said he experienced some discomfort while playing in the ongoing Global T20 Canada and has expressed his unavailability to the selectors.
Middle-order batsman Jason Mohammed will replace him in the 14-man squad.
“He [Mohammed] is a player with lots of experience in all three formats and – having done well for Trinidad & Tobago as well as Guyana Amazon Warriors,” Floyd Reifer, West Indies interim head coach, said.
“It is not easy to fill the shoes of someone like Andre Russell, who has dominated T20 cricket all over the world and helped West Indies win the ICC T20 World Cup on two occasions. We believe Jason is capable of good performances and we back him to perform at this level and win games as well,” Reifer added.
Russell last played for West Indies in the 2019 World Cup before persistent knee issues ruled him out of the tournament. His replacement, the 32-year-old Mohammed led a second-string Windies side in Pakistan last year, which was also his last T20I appearance.
The first two T20Is between West India and India are scheduled to be held at the Broward County Stadium in Florida on Saturday and Sunday. The third and final T20I will be played at the Guyana National Stadium on Tuesday.
West Indies squad for the first two T20Is:
Carlos Brathwaite (captain), Anthony Bramble, John Campbell, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Sunil Narine, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Jason Mohammed, Oshane Thomas.