A stylish right-hander, Samuels has been hailed by many as the future of cricket in the Caribbean.
He was still a teenager in 2000 when he was called in as a replacement for the injured Shivnarine Chanderpaul, against a rampant Australian attack in Adelaide.
In the following Test he hit an unbeaten 60 and was one of the few bright spots in a woeful tour for the Caribbean side.
His Test debut might have come before he had played a first-class game for Jamaica, but Samuels had already shined in youth and one-day cricket.
Samuels completed his maiden Test century late last year, an innings of 104 against India in Kolkata.
And he followed it with a lightning ton in the one-day series decider, 108 coming off 75 balls in an innings captain Carl Hooper describes as one of the greatest he had ever seen.
Doubts over a knee injury hampered a World Cup campaign in which he played a single match, although Samuels himself claimed to be fully fit.
But he will doubtless have a major role to play if West Indies are to compete with Australia this time around.