Windies captain looking for improvement in second Australia test

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West Indies captain Jason Holder says his team has to be ‘a lot better’ as they look to bounce back in the traditional Boxing Day fixture at the Melbourne Cricket Ground following a disastrous defeat in the first test against Australia earlier this month

Windies captain looking for improvement in second Australia test

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MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA (DECEMBER 24, 2015) (SEVEN NETWORK – NO ACCESS AUSTRALIA / .COM.AU INTERNET SITES / ANY INTERNET SITE OF ANY AUSTRALIAN BASED MEDIA ORGANISATIONS OR MOBILE PLATFORMS / AUSTRALIAN NVO CLIENTS / SMH.COM.AU / NEWS.COM.AU)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WEST INDIES CRICKET CAPTAIN JASON HOLDER SAYING:

“Yeah, it’s a very special occasion, everybody knows what we’re up against. I remember walking onto the field for the first time when we got here in Melbourne, it was a really nice feeling. I’ve been here before but not to play in a Boxing Day test and the majority of the guys haven’t been here before to play in a Boxing Day test either. So, we are all up for it and it’s obviously a wonderful occasion, hopefully will go well.”

2. WHITE FLASH

3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WEST INDIES CRICKET CAPTAIN JASON HOLDER SAYING:

“All be it, we didn’t do well in the last test match, you know our bowlers were obviously inconsistent and we were up against four hundred runs on the first day of a test match. You know, it’s tough to pull yourself back from it. We have to be professional anyways to stay in the game. Again, not making any excuses, but we just have to be a lot better than we were in that first test match.”

STORY: Under fire from all quarters after an abysmal start to their tour, the West Indies cricket team have promised to be more competitive at the traditional Boxing Day (December 26) test as they face an uphill task to prevent hosts Australia from taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-test series.

Coming off a three-day trouncing in the opening test in Hobart where they lost by an innings and 212 runs, the tourists are set to make their first appearance at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in 15 years, with local pundits questioning their stature to play in the marquee test of the home summer.

The touring captain Jason Holder, said he was aware of the history and the significance of playing the Boxing Day test match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, and vowed a much improved performance from his bruised and battered team.

“Yeah, it’s a very special occasion, everybody knows what we’re up against. I remember walking onto the field for the first time when we got here in Melbourne, it was a really nice feeling. I’ve been here before but not to play in a Boxing Day test and the majority of the guys haven’t been here before to play in a Boxing Day test either. So, we are all up for it and it’s obviously a wonderful occasion, hopefully will go well,” said Holder.

Adding insult to injury for the visitors, a number of top West Indies players have been competing in Australia’s domestic ‘Big Bash’ Twenty20 tournament, having made themselves unavailable for the ongoing test series that resumes on Saturday.

The situation was described as “totally” frustrating by West Indies coach Phil Simmons, who hopes the carnival atmosphere of the Boxing Day match and the widespread criticism of his players can combine to sting Jason Holder’s side into action.

“All be it, we didn’t do well in the last test match, you know our bowlers were obviously inconsistent and we were up against four hundred runs on the first day of a test match. You know, it’s tough to pull yourself back from back from it. We have to be professional anyways to stay in the game. Again, not making any excuses, we just have to be a lot better than we were in that first test match,” said Holder.

A fiery pre-series call to arms by bowling consultant Curtly Ambrose fell flat in Hobart, where the West Indies attack was brought to its knees in the first session by the power hitting of openers David Warner and Joe Burns.

The tourists were given only two days to find some form in a tour match in Geelong, where they made hard work of a state side cobbled together with a rag-tag of grade-level cricketers.

A missed catch during the game by fast bowler Jerome Taylor, who had his back to the play when the ball sailed in his direction, was seen as a symptom of the team’s malaise.

More will be required of Taylor and Kemar Roach, whose modest workloads in Hobart left their captain Holder and two-test left-arm spinner Jomel Warrican shouldering a heavy burden after a series-ending ankle injury to Shannon Gabriel.

There is little in the cupboard for Simmons and the selectors, who will weigh recalling legspinner Devendra Bishoo or uncapped all-rounder Carlos Brathwaite.

In contrast, Steven Smith’s emerging Australia side have few concerns, barring the dilemma of fitting top order batsman Usman Khawaja into the side after his recovery from injury.

Either Shaun Marsh or opener Burns are likely to make way for the stylish left-hander and both would have reasons to feel aggrieved, with the former having scored 182 in Hobart and the latter teaming well with Warner since the New Zealand series.

The third and final match of the series starts in Sydney on Jan. 3.

Tags : test, australia, second, Improvement, looking, Captain, Windies

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