Colombo - West Indies can compete with
Australia in the upcoming three-test series if they can exploit the
inexperience in the hosts' middle order, captain Jason Holder said on Monday.
Leading an inexperienced squad that
suffered a 2-0 humbling in Sri Lanka on October, Holder is widely perceived to
be embarking on a 'Mission Impossible' over the next seven weeks.
The 24-year-old all-rounder, however, said
Australia's series against New Zealand, which the hosts wrapped up 2-0 in
Adelaide on Wednesday night, had revealed some chinks in the armour of the No 2
side in the world.
"We saw weaknesses that we can
exploit, it's important to analyse every batsman and every bowler and come up
with plans best suited for the conditions," he told reporters in Brisbane.
"There's some new faces mixed with
some guys that have been in rich veins of form, it's important that we put some
pressure on their middle order. "If we get early wickets with the new
ball, we can get to Sean Marsh and those guys who are working their way back
into the side, you know, put them under pressure to score it should be a
relatively competitive series.
"They have some in-form batsmen like
David Warner and Steve Smith so it's important we get them out early and put
the new guys under pressure."
Australia's middle order is the least
experienced part of the Test team, with Sean Marsh, Adam Voges, all-rounder
Mitchell Marsh and wicketkeeper Peter Nevill all still trying to establish
themselves in the side.
West Indies are without all-rounders Dwayne
Bravo and Kieron Pollard, who have still not been forgiven for their role in
the abandonment of last year's tour of India, while opener Chris Gayle prefers
to play lucrative Twenty20 cricket.
Despite those omissions, Holder was confident
West Indies could restore some pride after the disappointment of the tour of
"We come with a lot of belief, if you
don't have belief there's no point in being here. We have to play aggressive
cricket, we have to play smart cricket," he added.
"Obviously, Australia's the No 2 side
in the world and they will come at us pretty hard. We need to learn as quickly
as possible, not be intimidated by their bowlers and just be confident."
West Indies will warm-up for the series in
a four-day match against a Cricket Australia XI starting on Wednesday.
The first Test, which is followed by
matches in Melbourne and Sydney, starts next week in Hobart, where unseasonably
cold weather brought snowfall over the weekend.
"I heard about it, I've never seen
snow so I'm looking forward to it," Holder laughed.