West Indies captain Brathwaite urges debutant Louis to 'think big' against England

Words of advice: West Indies' captain Kraigg Brathwaite (Pat Hoelscher)
Words of advice: West Indies' captain Kraigg Brathwaite (Pat Hoelscher)

West Indies captain Kraigg Brathwaite has encouraged debutant Mikyle Louis to put no limits on his ambitions ahead of facing England at Lord's.

Louis, a 23-year-old batsman, will become the first cricketer from his home island of St Kitts to represent the West Indies in their 96 years in Test cricket when the series opener at Lord's starts on Wednesday.

He joins a largely novice top order where Kirk McKenzie, Alick Athanaze and Kavem Hodge have just nine caps between them.

But Brathwaite, very much the senior player in the side ahead of his 90th Test, urged his team-mates to avoid being over-awed at the 'Home of Cricket'.

"Mikyle is a nice guy, a very joyful spirit. I know he'll do extremely well, playing international cricket for many years," Brathwaite, 31, told a pre-match press conference at Lord's on Tuesday as he announced his side.

"My advice to all the younger boys in the group, like Mikyle making his debut, is don't just expect to play for West Indies, expect to be the first to score 30 hundreds."

That mark has in fact been achieved by two West Indies greats in Brian Lara and Shivnarine Chanderpaul but Brathwaite added: "You've got to think big, you know. Don't think too small.

"I think they're young and exciting. The more games they play the better. They have a lot of talent and we are fully 100 per cent behind them."

Brathwaite's predecessor as skipper Jason Holder will bat at six on his comeback to the side after almost a year out of Test cricket, while left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie provides a contrast to a pace attack featuring the exciting Shamar Joseph.

Guyana quick Joseph made his name with a stunning performance against Australia in January, taking 7-68 with a broken foot to steal an upset win in Brisbane.

"It was a big positive for us, to get a win, because it shows we could get the job done," said Brathwaite. "The key for us as a group is to do it consistently.

"We could take a lot of stuff from that game both as batsmen, because we have some guys doing well, some important partnerships.

"Then the bowlers were outstanding. Shamar was the star, but pretty much all the bowlers, produced a very, very good effort and we caught well as well. "

He added: "We've got to look forward to this (match), then the other (two) Test matches this series. We've just got to believe in ourselves."

West Indies team: Kraigg Brathwaite (capt), Mikyle Louis, Kirk McKenzie, Alick Athanaze, Kavem Hodge, Jason Holder, Joshua Da Silva (wkt), Gudakesh Motie, Alzarri Joseph, Shamar Joseph, Jayden Seales