West Indies Test and One-day Captain Jason Holder has pleaded with the West Indies Cricket Board to hurry and cease the ongoing conflict between suspended Head Coach Phil Simmons and West Indies Cricket Board (WICB). Holder will have to work with players he has been given and implement the plan they had strategized during the camp in Barbados before the squad left for Sri Lanka.
The West Indies squad in Sri Lanka is mixed with a few experienced players such as Marlon Samuels, Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor, Darren Bravo and Denesh Ramdin. Several inexperienced players are on the tour and they have to learn quickly about the competitiveness about Test cricket and how to grow.
BRAVO, SAMUELS AND RAMDIN ARE KEY TO WINDIES WINNING
Bravo, Samuels and Ramdin must play pivotal roles if the West Indies team wants to defeat Sri Lanka. Bravo has not scored many runs for the West Indies in a long time and having gone to Sri Lanka before, he should use that advantage to stay on top of the game.
Sri Lanka has a very young team but on paper the West Indies team has more experience and they should execute their skills fully. Ramdin and Samuels are the seasoned players who should be looking for long innings in the Tests. Both of these players are excellent at batting spin, Samuels in particular, so this should be some guidance to the younger players.
SHANNON GABRIELS’ QUICKNESS CAN BE A FACTOR
Trinidad and Tobago’s Shannon Gabriel bowls very fast and most of the time maintains between a speed of 135 to 140 mph. His bowling has great bounce but Sri Lankan wickets are not that bouncy as those in Australia and South Africa so he will have to create some swing and get the deliveries in the correct places. He cannot only depend on speed to take wickets. The pace combination of Taylor, Roach and Gabriel can create early problems for Sri Lanka’s front line batsmen.
TEST CRICKET IS ABOUT TAKING WICKETS
How well Captain Holder rotates his bowlers will be critical in keeping pressure on the Sri Lankan batsmen. Sri Lanka will be having a very strong middle order batting side and these batsmen are well aware of how their wickets play because they are at home. Holder will have to get his bowlers in the correct rhythm and fresh by avoiding them being over worked in order to capture the 20 wickets needed to win a Test match.
Spinner Devendra Bishoo must be used for short spells as he is not good at bowling the longer ones. Field setting and holding the catches are also important. The West Indies fielding was not at its best during their last two series against England and Australia. This will be a tough tour for Captain Holder in regards to his decision making.