Hobart - Skipper Jason Holder on Wednesday
said his embattled West Indies players must focus on their individual game
plans if they want to pull off a stunning win against Australia in the first
Test in Hobart.
Amid incredulity that the West Indies have
a chance against Steve Smith's Australians, after a run of woeful results,
Holder challenged his young team to get their heads down and fight.
It looks a tall order for the once-mighty
Caribbeans to turn things around when the first of three Tests gets underway on
The West Indies are ranked above only
Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. They have won just four of their last 20 Tests and
last won a Test in Australia in 1997.
But Windies pace great and now team bowling
consultant Curtly Ambrose has predicted a shock victory, and Holder said that
is possible if they execute their plans.
"We are very upbeat about this series.
It's a fresh series for us, so we have to be positive going into it,"
Holder told a match-eve media conference.
"If we realistically do what we have
to do in terms of executing our roles then anything is possible on any given
"The onus has to be upon each player
to perform their role and execute their plans. Once we do that we can put
together a strong collective effort."
Doubts about the Windies redoubled after
they were humiliated by a rookie Cricket Australia XI by 10 wickets in their
only warm-up game.
Ambrose rebuked the team in the wake of the
defeat and Holder said the players have taken his stinging words to heart.
"Curtly shed a lot of light on where
we are at this current time and how we played that warm-up game," Holder
"We're in that situation where we have
to just put that behind us."
Holder also tried to turn the heat back on
to the Australians, by highlighting some perceived weaknesses.
"If we can get into their middle order
as quickly as possible, that will be better off for us," he said.
"Davey Warner is coming off a very
good series against New Zealand, and (with) Steve Smith they scored the bulk of
the runs in the last series played.
"So if we can target them in a sense
of getting them out as early as possible then we can put pressure on their
Holder said the reinstatement of Phil
Simmons as coach, after he was suspended for the October-November Sri Lanka
tour in a row over selection, was also a big plus.
"It makes a significant difference. He
is implementing his ways and I think the guys have really bought into what he
has brought," Holder said.
"Losing him during the Sri Lanka
series was a very big loss especially at that stage as I was practically on my
way to the airport when I got the news he was not going to be joining us.
"That really shattered the dressing
room so it's just very good to have him back and I'm sure he will be on the
guys to put things in place and get ready for this game."
West Indies team (from) - Kraigg Brathwaite, Rajendra Chandrika, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Jermaine Blackwood, Denesh Ramdin, Jason Holder (captain), Carlos Brathwaite, Devendra Bishoo, Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor, Shannon Gabriel.