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.

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