Though the pitch at Perth Stadium is expected to have the typical pace and bounce, West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder has cautioned his fellow fast-bowlers to not be carried away by the nature of the pitch and try to make Australia’s batters work hard for runs at home.
West Indies have not won a Test match in Australia for 25 years, and enter the two-Test series, starting in Perth from Wednesday as the underdogs. But with fast-bowlers like Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Jayden Seales and Kemar Roach, West Indies can cause a mighty scare to Australia in conditions where bowlers can thrive.
“People get carried away seeing carry and bounce, but you still have got to find a really good length suitable for the wicket. Understanding when to attack, when to defend, and just understanding the context of scenarios and the phase of the game."
“I think the most important thing for our bowlers is to make sure the Australian batters work really hard for their runs. We’ve just got to assess the conditions early and make the necessary adjustments," said Holder to reporters ahead of the first Test.
There has been excitement around what Joseph, the young, fiery pacer, who can rattle Australia’s batting line-up with his short, sharp spells in his first time of playing Test cricket in the country, which Holder is anticipating.
“He’s got pace, he’s very aggressive at times too. He’s probably going to be the guy we ask to be the enforcer and be a little bit more aggressive. He’s developed a lot. Alzarri was very introverted (at first), and didn’t say much in the dressing room, but now he’s a lot more comfortable around his peers and the guys have made him feel really welcome as well too."
“He’s probably one of the more seasoned campaigners around when it comes to all-format cricket for the West Indies over the last couple of years and he’s developed nicely in my opinion."
“I just think, looking forward to this series, it will be a really good series for him, an away-from-home series in these tough conditions against good opposition. It’s really good to see young players come on and do well in this type of series."
Though West Indies’ fortunes in white-ball cricket was highlighted by an early exit at the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia last month, they have shown glimpses of being a force to reckon with in Test cricket, as seen by an impressive 1-0 victory at home against England in March.
“If you look at the nucleus of the Test side, I think we’ve been together for the last five, six years. I think that is really important in comparison to the other sides… probably a little bit more chopping and changing."
“I think our long-format cricket has really developed, so it’s really good signs and a lot of our players are developing," concluded Holder.