Cricket: W Indies rely on pace to find form

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The Independent Online
THE WEST INDIES selectors named six fast bowlers in a 15-man squad to play Australia in the first Test beginning in Port of Spain, Trinidad, on Friday as they strive to recover from their disastrous tour of South Africa.

The line-up includes the two recently injured bowlers, Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh, and four other fast bowlers, Merv Dillon, Reon King, Pedro Collins and Corey Collymore.

The chairman of selectors, Michael Findlay, said both bowlers had been passed fit despite not having played a competitive match since returning from the South Africa tour last month.

After losing the Test series 5-0 in South Africa, the West Indies captain, Brian Lara, admitted his home ground, the Queen's Park Oval, could be just the place to get a flying start against Australia. "It's going to be tough but playing in Trinidad has been very good to West Indian cricket in the past," he said.

Lara is waiting for the results of a scan taken to determine the damage done to his right wrist in South Africa but is confident he will be fit.

Vice-captain Carl Hooper was unavailable for selection because he is in Australia looking after his new-born son, who is ill. Findlay said he had spoken to Hooper recently and was given no indication when he would be returning to the Caribbean.

The West Indies squad will be cut to 12 and a vice-captain named later in the week.

Five of the squad - batsmen Suruj Ragoonath, Dave Joseph and Lincoln Roberts along with fast bowlers Pedro Collins and Corey Collymore have not played Test cricket.

WEST INDIES (from): B C Lara (capt), S L Campbell, S Ragoonath, D R E Joseph, J C Adams, R I C Holder, P V Simmons, L A Roberts, R T Jacobs, C A Walsh, C E L Ambrose, M Dillon, R D King, P T Collins, C Collymore.