Key takeaways from West Indies' squad for the 2022 T20 World Cup
Lewis last played for West Indies at the 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup, while Charles has not made a T20I appearance in six years. All-rounders Andre Russell and Fabian Allen did not find a place in the squad named for the tournament in Australia.
Here are our major takeaways from it.
No Andre Russell or Sunil Narine
West Indies' 15-player squad has two major absentees in veteran all-rounder Andre Russell and spinner Sunil Narine. While lead selector Desmond Haynes has clarified that Russell has been dropped, he also stressed he was unsure about Narine's availability.
"The captain (Nicholas Pooran) told me he's reached out to Narine, but I'm not too sure he wants to play," Haynes said.
Russell, who featured in the 2021 ICC Men's T20 World Cup, and is currently playing the Caribbean Premier League, has been ignored due to his poor form according to Haynes.
"We had a meeting with Andre Russell earlier in the year," Haynes said. "We're still not convinced yet, he's not performing as well as we would like to see him in the competition. I think in the situation with Andre Russell, we've just decided to just move on, and look for someone who's in form, and doing well in the T20 format."
Despite the two experienced stars missing out, West Indies have a slew of all-round options in the squad in Jason Holder, Kyle Mayers, Akeal Hosein, Odean Smith and the uncapped Raymon Reifer.
Fabian Allen is another notable omission from the squad. The all-rounder was sidelined in favour of Hosein, who is also a left-arm spinner and lower-order aggressor.
Lewis, Charles return
While Brandon King and Mayers retain their places in the squad, West Indies have handed returns to Charles - who last played as long ago as 2016 - and Lewis in the squad for Australia.
It remains to be seen if they pick the duo at the top of the order ahead of King and Mayers. Charles could also be considered as the back-up wicketkeeper in the squad that has skipper Pooran as lead wicketkeeper.
Charles is among the leading run-scorers in CPL 2022 so far this year and is a proven performer in the format with 34 appearances for West Indies in T20Is.
With the middle-order already packed with Rovman Powell, Holder and Shimron Hetmyer, West Indies might be pondering using Mayers or Lewis at No.3 behind the openers.
A left-field pick in the spin department
Yannic Cariah is a surprise pick in the spin department ahead of Hayden Walsh. The leg-spinner recently made his ODI debut in the series against New Zealand, but hasn't bowled in any T20 game since 2016.
Walsh, on the other hand, seems to have dropped out of West Indies' plans after his ordinary showing in recent times. Since the end of the last T20 World Cup, Walsh has made 10 appearances for West Indies, taking just eight wickets and leaking runs at an economy rate of 8.42.
"When we look at consistency, we don't feel that Hayden is consistent enough," Haynes clarified on Walsh's place in the squad. "We don't write off anybody, because Hayden is somebody we have invested in, and we believe that he still stands a chance of playing for the West Indies, and we hope again that he is another one that will continue to do well in the CPL and give himself a chance to be selected."
THIS IS THE BIG TIME!
The ICC Men’s T20 World Cup is coming to Australia from 16 October to 13 November 2022.