FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (CMC) – Injury-plagued all-rounder Andre Russell has been forced out of the three-match Twenty20 International series against India following a flare up of his troublesome left knee.
The 31-year-old informed selectors he would be unavailable for the series after experiencing discomfort while at the ongoing Global T20 Canada in Toronto, where he featured in one match for Vancouver Knights without bowling or batting.
Russell will now be replaced by batsman Jason Mohammed who last played a T20 International 16 months ago when he led a second string side on a three-match tour of Pakistan.
“We welcome Jason Mohammed into the squad for the first two T20 matches here in Florida. He is a player with lots of experience in all three formats and – having done well for Trinidad & Tobago as well as Guyana Amazon Warriors,” said West Indies head coach, Floyd Reifer.
“It is not easy to fill the shoes of someone like Andre Russell, who has dominated T20 cricket all over the world and helped West Indies win the ICC T20 World Cup on two occasions.
“We believe Jason is capable of good performances and we back him to perform at this level and win games as well.”
Mohammed, 32, is a slightly strange choice as replacement, averaging 18 from nine T20Is, with a highest score of 23 not out. He managed only 198 runs at an average of 24 with a single half-century in the Caribbean Premier League last season.
Russell’s inclusion in the initial squad last month had raised several eyebrows especially after limping out of the World Cup after struggling with his fitness in a handful of matches, and then undergoing surgery.
Selectors said at the time he would undergo a fitness before being cleared to face the Indians.
West Indies take on the tourists in the first of two matches at the Central Broward County Stadium here Saturday before playing the second match on Sunday.
The series wraps up in Guyana next Tuesday.
SQUAD – Carlos Brathwaite (captain), John Campbell, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Keemo Paul, Sunil Narine, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Anthony Bramble, Jason Mohammed, Khary Pierre.