15 Jun 2014

Windies drop Powell and Samuels

7:00 am on 15 June 2014

The West Indies cricket selectors have made two changes to their batting line-up ahead of the second Test against New Zealand, starting on Tuesday in Trinidad and Tobago.

Following the batting failures which contributed to a 186-run defeat inside four days in last week's first Test in Jamaica, the selectors have named uncapped batsmen Jermaine Blackwood and Leon Johnson.

Their inclusion comes at the expense of opener Kieran Powell and experienced middle-order man Marlon Samuels.

Blackwood, a 22-year-old Jamaican right-hander, has averaged 40.38 in first-class cricket over the past three seasons.

Johnson has some senior international experience, featuring in a three-nation One-Day International tournament against Bermuda and hosts Canada in Toronto in 2008.

The 26-year-old Guyanese left-hander averages 33.18 from 50 first-class matches since making his national debut as a teenager in 2004.

Both have previously represented the West Indies at under-19 level.

Samuels, the 33-year-old veteran of 52 Tests, pays the price for failing to score in both innings at Sabina Park, his first "pair" in Test cricket.

Powell managed only 28 and 0, leading to his being dropped.

Both newcomers are expected to play, with pressure on the West Indies to square the series ahead of the third and final Test in Barbados.

New Zealand are likely to be unchanged in Port of Spain following the victory in Kingston, only their second Test match victory on six tours to the Caribbean.