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Windies pick Ambris for New Zealand Tests

Windward Island opener replaces Kyle Hope, who pays price for poor start to career.

Kyle Hope’s average run in Test cricket since his debut earlier this year in Birmingham has led to him being axed for Windies’ upcoming two-Test tour of New Zealand, his place going to Sunil Ambris.

Kyle, brother of Shai Hope, Windies’ most exciting batsman in recent times, has scored 101 runs from five Test matches, with 43 as his best. That was not good enough for the selectors when they announced the 15-member squad on Sunday (November 5).

Ambris, the 24-year-old Windward Islands opening batsman, has so far played one One-Day International, scoring 38 not out batting at No. 6 against England in Southampton earlier this year. He is, however, likely to considered as a middle-order option, with Kraigg Brathwaite and Kieran Powell, the regular openers, both in the squad.

“Sunil has replaced Kyle Hope in the squad, and this is on the basis of his consistent performances across formats and his outstanding returns for the Windies A team in the ‘Test’ series against Sri Lanka A. This type of consistency is very welcomed by the panel,” said Courtney Browne, the chairman of selectors, on the only change to the squad that recently won the two-Test series in Zimbabwe 1-0.

“Kyle is encouraged to return to the first-class championship and turn in the strong performances his talent suggests he can deliver.”

Congratulating the Jason Holder-led side on its success in Zimbabwe, Browne added, “It was a strong team effort and highlighted by those players that did not do as well as expected on the recent tour of England, playing critical roles in the team’s success.

“Their success augurs well for the selection process and the philosophy of continuity which has underpinned our selection for the tour of New Zealand, and not the chopping and changing mentality.”

Windies starts its tour of New Zealand with a three-day game against New Zealand A at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln, followed by Test matches at Basin Reserve in Wellington (from December 1) and Seddon Park in Hamilton (from December 9). The teams will then face off in three ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals.

The squad will fly out soon for a training camp in Brisbane, which will run till November 21, before travelling to New Zealand ahead of the tour game on November 25. The series ends on January 3 with the final T20I.

Schedule

Nov 25-27: Tour game v New Zealand A (Lincoln)

Dec 1-5: First Test (Wellington)

Dec 9-13: Second Test (Hamilton)

Dec 20: First ODI (Whangarei)

Dec 23: Second ODI (Christchurch)

Dec 26: Third ODI (Christchurch)

Dec 29: First T20I (Nelson)

Jan 1: Second T20I (Mount Maunganui)

Jan 3: Third T20I (Mount Maunganui)

Squad: Jason Holder (capt), Kraigg Brathwaite (vice-capt), Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich (wk), Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kieran Powell, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach.

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