West Indies forced to add 36-year-old club cricketer to Test squad

West Indian batsman Omar Phillips is pictured during his last Test match, back in 2009.
The West Indies have had to turn to Omar Phillips, who last played Test cricket in 2009, as an emergency fielder in the second Test. JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images)

The West Indies' hopes of fighting back in the second Test in Adelaide got off to an inauspicious start before a single ball was bowled, with the injury-hit tourists forced to turn to former Test player Omar Phillips as an emergency fielder. Phillips, 36, played two Tests back in 2009 but has not played first class cricket since 2017.

Phillips has been enjoying a turn in club cricket in Australia, but with the West Indies beset by injuries heading into the second Test in Adelaide, desperate times called for desperate measures. A flight was hastily arranged for Phillips, who has been playing for Strathmore Cricket Club, to join the West Indies in South Australia.

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The West Indies have also debuted Marquino Mindley, just 48 hours after arriving in Australia to supplement their battered bowling line-up. The likes of Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales and Nkrumah Bonner are all worse for wear after the first Test in Perth.

Allrounder Kyle Mayers was also ruled out, leaving the visitors in dire straights. "It is going to be very difficult for him," coach Phil Simmons said of Mindley making his debut on such short notice.

"If it was say a Roach, who has played 50 Test matches (then fine). But someone who is making his debut, that is going to be very difficult.

"But that's what he has been brought for. And me as a person who has played Test cricket, I know I would be jumping at the opportunity to get my first Test cap."

Thursday's match will mark Simmons' last in charge of West Indies, after he resigned following the team's Twenty20 World Cup obliteration, but the side's Test fortunes have been significantly better during his stint. Last week's 164-run loss to Australia was their first defeat in six Tests this year, having claimed series wins over England and Bangladesh and drawn with Pakistan and Sri Lanka in 2021.

Australia off to dominant start against West Indies in Adelaide

Usman Khawaja's brilliant comeback year has entered the record books after he helped Australia to 1-89 after the first session of the day-night Test against West Indies. Khawaja went to the break unbeaten on 50, with David Warner the only man out for the hosts after he was caught behind on 21.

With Josh Hazlewood joining Pat Cummins on the sideline with general soreness, Australia are desperate to build a big first-innings total in Adelaide. And Khawaja has given them a promising start, with Thursday's knock taking him past 1000 runs for the calendar year.

He joins Sir Donald Bradman and Adam Voges as Australians to pull off the feat at age 35 or older. Khawaja is also set to finish the year with the most runs by someone of his age, surpassing Sir Donald Bradman's mark of 1025 from his final year in Test cricket in 1948.

Khawaja's half-century is the ninth time he has passed 50 this year, striking six boundaries along the way on Thursday. After Warner was the early aggressor, Khawaja stamped his authority with a crunching pull shot for four off West Indies' enforcer Alzarri Joseph.

He later hit debutant Mindley for two straight boundaries, before the quick limped off the field clutching at his leg. Earlier, Australia had made the call to bring in Michael Neser for his second Test, after opting not to risk Hazlewood during a cluttered summer schedule.

Mitchell Starc was cleared to play despite an equally taxing workload in Perth, and is joined by Neser, Nathan Lyon and Scott Boland in the attack.

With AAP

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