Australia vs WI – 1st Test 2022

On what is expected to be a bouncy and fast pitch at the Optus Stadium – a far cry from slower Caribbean surfaces – the West Indies’ pace attack is expected to take on Australia’s experienced batsmen in the first Test starting on Wednesday. Be patient with hawks.

Having not won a Test in Australia for 25 years, the West Indies are underdogs in the two-Test series, but their talented pace-setters offer hope of a positive result in favorable conditions for the bowlers. While it will be tempting for him to go all-out against a team returning from a four-month Test break, he has been advised to bowl too much or too little on a ground where runs can come quickly.

“People get upset with the carry and the bounce, but you still have to find the right length for the wicket,” Jason Holder said on Monday. “Understanding when to attack, when to defend, and just understanding the context of the scenarios and the stage of the game.

“I think the most important thing for our bowlers is to make sure that the Australian batsmen work hard for their runs. We just have to assess the situation quickly and make the necessary adjustments.”

Holder said he would be available to bowl in the Test after not being used during the two warm-up matches.

Expectations are rising for pacer Alzarri Joseph’s Test debut in Australia. Joseph is expected to be used in short, quick bursts in hot Perth, in an attempt to rattle an experienced Australian top order.

“We’ve been through a lot as a side and it’s not going to be an easy tour.”

Jason Holder

“He’s got pace and he’s very aggressive. A guy who’s going to be an enforcer,” Holder said of Joseph, who can bowl 145kph/90mph consistently. The added responsibility underscores Joseph’s growing maturity after making his Test debut as a 19-year-old in 2016.

“I was actually quite surprised that he’s 26 … we celebrated his birthday on tour recently,” Holder said. “It’s been an amazing time, it’s great to see him fit and healthy. He’s obviously progressed a lot because he was very reserved, and didn’t do much in the dressing room. He was around his teammates. Gard is very comfortable, one of the more experienced campaigners when it comes to all formats of cricket.”

Joseph should form an interesting pairing with Jayden Sales, who has taken 36 wickets at an average of 21.77 in nine matches in Test cricket.

“I think Jayden has a lot of skill … he has swing and control. I think those are two of his biggest qualities,” Holder said. “Maybe not a lot of swing in those conditions but he can get a lot of seam movement.”

An early exit in the recent T20 World Cup highlighted West Indies’ decline in white-ball cricket, but they have shown glimpses of a Test rebirth with a home victory over England in March.

“If you look at the core of the Test side, I think we’ve been together for the last five, six years,” Holder said. “I think it’s really important compared to the other sides… maybe a little bit more chopping and changing.

“I think our longer format cricket has really developed, so that’s a really good sign and a lot of our players are developing.”

Fresh off a much-needed breather from the West Indies, Holder impressed with quick Kemar Roach’s memorable venomous spell against Ricky Ponting at the WACA in 2009 as they looked to end a hoodoo in Australia.

“It’s a tour that people can make their own,” Holder said. “We’ve been through a lot as a side and it’s not going to be an easy tour.”


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