West Indies Test opener Rajendra Chandrika is looking to make maximum use of the opportunity in Sri Lanka when the Caribbean side tours the island in October.
The Jason Holder-led West Indies are slated to play two Tests, three One-Day Internationals and two T20Is, but it is highly expected that the right-handed Chandrika, who made his international debut earlier this year, will only feature in the Test segment.
As part of preparations for that series, Chandrika and the batsmen, who have been selected for the 44-day tour, last week completed an 11-day batting camp under the watchful eyes of West Indies Head Coach Phil Simmons at the High Performance Centre in Barbados.
“I’m feeling good at the moment and looking forward to the series,” Chandrika, 26, told this publication on Sunday.
Chandrika had a tough Test debut in June this year when he fell for a double duck against Australia at Sabina Park in Jamaica. Fortunate to get a second call-up, the elegant batsman is gearing up to increase his knowledge on playing on unfamiliar conditions, whether he breaks into the final XI or not.
“It’s an experience I’m really looking forward. Of course, I would love to make the starting XI, but whether I play or not, the aim is to learn from my first overseas tour, and hopefully it will help to improve my career,” the former West Indies Under-19 and “A” team player explained.
While no structured regional cricket has been played since the Australia series, Chandrika has been appearing in domestic games for the Enterprise Busta Sports Club.
In his first match since Test debut, he cracked a fluent hundred for the club against the visiting GEML Cosmos team of Trinidad and Tobago in a limited-over match in August.
Opening batsman Kraigg Brathwaite will be Holder’s deputy on the tour. The squad contains two uncapped players in fast bowler Carlos Brathwaite and left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican, both of whom play for Barbados.
In a like-for-like selection, Warrican replaces Veerasammy Permaul, who was part of West Indies’ squad during their home series against Australia. Denesh Ramdin, who was replaced by Holder as captain, retains his place as wicket-keeper.
West Indies are scheduled to land in Sri Lanka on October 1, with the series starting 13 days later.
West Indies squad: Jason Holder (Captain), Kraigg Brathwaite (vice-captain), Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Rajendra Chandrika, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Denesh Ramdin , Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor, Jomel Warrican.
(Taken from Guyana Times)