The West Indies have recruited an ex-Test batter from Australian club cricket to assist them in the field during the second Test against Australia in Adelaide, while the hosts have been forced to make a late re-shuffle of their own, with veteran pacer Josh Hazlewood ruled out due to injury.
Omar Phillips played two Test matches for the West Indies in 2009, when many of their stars were on strike, and has recently been working as a player-coach with Strathmore Cricket Club in Melbourne. However, with the West Indies suffering from injuries, Phillips responded to a late SOS on the morning of the day-night second Test and will join the rest of the squad in Adelaide.
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Phillips scored 94 on debut for the West Indies against Bangladesh in Kingstown 13 years ago, but subsequent innings of 14, 23, and 29 runs, combined with the return of star players like Chris Gayle, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, and Ramnaresh Sarwan, meant his time at the top was brief. The 36-year-old last played a first-class match for Barbados against the Windward Islands in 2017, after which he moved to Australia to continue his cricket career.
The decision to fly Phillips to Adelaide was made due to a slew of injuries to key West Indies players, including Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, and Nkrumah Bonner, all of whom are battling ailments ahead of the series’ final Test. Uncapped pacer Marquino Mindley arrived in Adelaide earlier this week and immediately made his debut for the West Indies. Phillips and Mindley’s mad dash comes as Australia makes a second change to their XI, with Hazlewood joining fellow pacer and skipper Pat Cummins on the sidelines due to injury.
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Due to general soreness, Cricket Australia informed Hazlewood that he would miss the match, with burly quick Michael Neser joining Scott Boland as Australia’s two inclusions. Australia will be hoping to complete a series sweep of their Caribbean opponents and extend their lead in the ICC World Test Championship standings.
Australia XI: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith (c), Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Michael Neser, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Scott Boland.
West Indies XI: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Shamarh Brooks, Jermaine Blackwood, Devon Thomas, Jason Holder, Joshua Da Silva, Roston Chase, Alzarri Joseph, Anderson Phillip, Marquino Mindley.
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