Jason Holder

FINE-TUNING: West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder bats during the team’s training session in Perth, Australia, yesterday.--Photo: CWI MEDIA

Despite not being able to beat Australia in a Test match ‘Down Under’ since 1997, West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder remained positive about the tourists’ chances, noting that the two-match series will be a chance for the Caribbean players to make a name for themselves.

The first Test bowls off tonight (10.20 p.m. T&T Time) in Perth. Holder said: “It’s a tour that people can make their names.”

He cited the example of Kemar Roach, who made quite an impression in 2009 on his debut away tour and noted that the Windies’ young pace attack could be a key factor in the series, which also includes a day/night Test.

“People get carried away seeing carry and bounce, but you still have got to find a really good length suitable for the wicket,” Jason Holder said ahead of the series, which is a part of the ICC World Test Championship 2021-23 cycle.

“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,” he continued.

West Indies have a strong pace attack led by Roach and Holder himself with Alzarri Joseph, Jayden Seales and Raymon Reifer adding some real zest to it.

Holder said that Joseph would be an “enforcer” with the kind of pace he possesses. “It’s amazing the time that has flown, so good to see him fit and healthy. He’s obviously developed a lot as he was very introverted, and didn’t say much in the dressing room. He’s a lot more comfortable around his peers, he’s one of the more seasoned campaigners when it comes to all-format cricket.”

Seales has had a great start to his Test career, taking 36 wickets in nine Tests, including a five-wicket haul against Pakistan in Kingston. He is, however, yet to play a Test outside the Caribbean.

“I think Jayden has a lot of skill. He has swing and control. I think that’s his two greatest attributes,” Holder said. “Maybe there won’t be much swing in these conditions but he’s good enough to extract some seam movement.”

While West Indies haven’t had great success in Australia in recent times, Holder underlined the fact that this was a well-settled Test unit. “If you look at the nucleus of the Test side, I think we’ve been together for the last five, six years,” noted the former West Indies skipper.

“I think our long-format cricket has really developed, so it’s really good signs and a lot of our players are developing. We’ve been through a lot as a side and it’s not going to be an easy tour,” Holder concluded.


Trinidad and Tobago Red Force coach David Furlonge was pleased to see the fight shown by his players as they held on for a draw on the final day of their first-round West Indies Championship match against the Windward Islands Volcanoes, at the Grenada National Stadium, yesterday.

Half-centuries from Jason Mohammed (79 not out) and Tion Webster (58) saw the T&T side navigate over two full sessions after the Volcanoes declared their second innings at 425 for five in the first session.

Defending champions PowerGen Penal Sports made a strong start to the domestic red-ball season as they piled up 227 for six, off 65 overs, on the first day of the three-day Premiership 1 game against crosstown rivals Clarke Road United, at Syne Village in Penal, yesterday.

CLOSE to 100 players will be in action when competitive badminton returns to Trinidad after a three-year absence today at the National Racquet Centre, Orange Grove Main Road, Tacarigua.

The Trinidad and Tobago Badminton Association’s (TTBA) junior ranking tournament will be contested over the next two weekends, and their senior ranking tournament will take place from Monday until Friday.

West Indies skipper Kraigg Brathwaite wants to see a better all-round performance from his team when they face Zimbabwe in the first Test, starting today, at Queen’s Sports Club in Bulawayo.

The opening batter also wants his players to put into practise all they have learnt from batting legend Brian Lara, who took up the role of performance mentor with the squad ahead of the two-Test series.

LeBron James had 26 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and pulled within 63 points of becoming the NBA’s career scoring leader as the Los Angeles Lakers rallied to beat the Indiana Pacers 112-111 on Thursday night.

James has 38,325 points, with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holding the record at 38,387. James gave Los Angeles its first lead on a three-pointer with 2:35 left, and Anthony Davis’ 11-footer with 35.1 seconds left was the decisive basket. Davis had 31 points and 14 rebounds.