Kemar Roach to miss first Test

West Indies pacer Kemar Roach will miss the first Test against India in Rajkot due to personal reasons.

West Indies coach Stuart Law said that Roach will join the squad midway through the first Test.   -  AFP

West Indies suffered a major setback ahead of the first Test against India as it's lead quick, Kemar Roach has been forced to fly back home following the demise of his grandmother.

Roach will not feature in the first Test, which begins here on Thursday, but is expected to join the side well before the second Test in Hyderabad.

“Kemar is not back yet. He had a bereavement in the family and will be joining the team midway through the first Test,” the West Indies coach Stuart Law said on Tuesday.

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The side trained at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in the morning  and Law admitted that it is important to try out how youngsters like Keemo Paul performs.

“Kemar Roach is a very experienced fast bowler with great skill. He is one of our leaders. It is a big loss. Having said that, Shannon Gabriel has been outstanding in the last couple of Tests, that too in similar conditions to India," Law said.

A seasoned campaigner, Roach has featured in 48 Tests and has grabbed 163 wickets. “Missing Kemar is a big hole but we have got some bright talents coming through in Keemo Paul and Sherman Lewis. Sometimes it is better going with the known to surprise the opposition. Pace has been our strength,” stated Law.

In Roach's absence, the focus will be on skipper Holder, uncapped Paul and Lewis. Pace has been the biggest strength for the West Indies in the last few years, and this time too, the visiting side will be hoping to keep the Indian batsmen on the tenterhooks with pace. But then, Roach's absence could prove costly.