It is good that the ODI game has welcomed back bowlers like Shannon Gabriel – fire and fury, rather than sure and steady. He showed in the Test series against England he has the pace to unsettle.
He also hunts well with Kemar Roach. The Trinidadian, 31, has not played an ODI for 18 months, but was seemingly due to return for the series at home to England before he made a homophobic remark to Joe Root in the St Lucia Test, resulting in a four-match suspension.
The Telegraph’s Scyld Berry described Gabriel as a “wildly inaccurate but fast” bowler before the winter’s encounters, but his ODI record before this summer was sound, 23 wickets at 34, with an economy rate of 5.59, in 18 matches.
He has been West Indies’ top wicket-taker in Tests since the beginning of 2018, with 46 in 11 matches, including match figures of 13 for 121 in the second Test against Sri Lanka at St Lucia in June. His feistiness unsettles batsmen, even if he clearly does cross the line sometimes – note the shoulder contact with Imrul Kayes of Bangladesh last November.
Courtney Walsh has likened his action to Ian Bishop and Patrick Patterson, and they could both bowl a bit.
Gabriel has had injury troubles, but picking him for his maiden World Cup for his ability to bowl at 90mph represents a gamble worth taking.
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