EXPERIENCED West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder said the disappointment of the T20 World Cup is behind them and will focus on the two-match Test series against Australia. The series bowls off at Perth from 10.20 pm TT time on Tuesday.
West Indies did not qualify for the main draw of the 2022 T20 World Cup last month.
The winners of the T20 World Cup in 2012 and 2016, they were eliminated from the qualifiers after losing to Scotland and Ireland. The only win for the West Indies was against Zimbabwe.
Only a few of the Test players are on the T20 team, and Holder thinks the World Cup disaster will not affect the Test team.
“It’s two different teams,” he told reporters in Australia. “This is obviously Test cricket (and) all the T20 guys have gone home. We just had five (four) guys remaining back. We just refreshed and came back.”
Only four players who competed in the World Cup qualifiers are in the Test team in Australia, including Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers and Raymon Reifer.
The West Indies Test team are more competitive than the T20 and 50-Over teams.
Discussing the Test team’s solid performances over the last two years, Holder said, “If you look at the nucleus of this Test team, it has been together for the last five-six years. We have had one or two players going in and some coming out, but for the most part it has been together for the last couple years, which is really important. In comparison to the other sides, probably a little bit more chopping and changing when it comes to those two particular formats.”
Holder reiterated that the World Cup is not on their minds.
“Again, our focus here now is Test cricket. We put the T20 World Cup behind us.”
Heexpects a stiff series from the Aussies.
“They are generally a good team. Obviously, playing in their backyard as well, we expect a really good contest…some of us have been here before (but) many of us this is our first trip. But nevertheless I think we still expect a really good competition from them…we expect a keenly contested series.”
Holder said West Indies must adapt to the bouncy, fast wicket at Perth.
“I have played here at the WACA (Perth), which is obviously one of the renowned fast, bouncier tracks around the world. In the Caribbean we tend to have a lot more slower wickets this day and age, but we just got to make the adjustment.”
Holder is eager to see the Windies pacers deliver.
“We have got a good team, I believe. A pretty young team as well, too, mixed with some older heads. It is good to see some of our young fast bowlers coming through, like Alzarri Joseph and Jayden Seales. I am really looking forward to see(ing) their progress in this series. Again, regardless of how the conditions are we’ve just got to assess them early and just make the necessary adjustments.”
Holder, veteran Kemar Roach and Anderson Phillip are the other fast bowlers in the squad.
The West Indies batters did show form in practice matches leading up to the first Test match.
In a four-day practice match against New South Wales/Australian Capital Territory XI which ended in a draw on November 19, four West Indies batsmen scored half-centuries: Devon Thomas (77 not out), Kraigg Brathwaite (75), Shamarh Brooks (56) and Holder (50 retired out).
Tagenarine Chanderpaul was the star for West Indies in the team’s second and final practice match against a Prime Minister’s XI which ended on Saturday. Chanderpaul struck 119 and 56.
In the second innings Thomas slammed 55 and Joshua Da Silva scored an unbeaten 52. The match ended in a draw. Joseph was the team’s best bowler, grabbing 4/65 in the first innings.
Kraigg Brathwaite (captain), Jermaine Blackwood (vice-captain), Nkrumah Bonner, Shamarh Brooks, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Roston Chase, Joshua Da Silva, Jason Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kyle Mayers, Anderson Phillip, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach, Jayden Seales, Devon Thomas
Pat Cummins (captain), Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, David Warner