The surface at the Optus Stadium in Perth is known for its pace and bounce but Jason Holder wants West Indies pacers not to get carried away and instead focus on match scenarios. West Indies haven’t won a Test in Australia for 25 years and would have to play out of their skin if they want to topple Pat Cummins and Co. in the two-match Test series, starting on Wednesday (November 30).
"People get carried away seeing carry and bounce, but you still have got to find a really good length suitable for the wicket. Understanding when to attack, when to defend, and just understanding the context of scenarios and the phase of the game," said Holder.
"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."
Australia have Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Scott Boland in their arsenal but West Indies too possess a fiery pace attack in Holder, Alzarri Joseph, Kemar Roach and Jayden Seales. Joseph hasn’t played a Test in Australia but has been West Indies’ best bowler this year, having picked up 22 wickets in five games at an average of 25.8.
"He's got pace and he's very aggressive. A guy who will be an enforcer. I was actually quite shocked that he's 26... we celebrated his birthday on tour recently. It's amazing the time that has flown, so good to see him fit and healthy,” said Holder.
“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."
Another young fast bowler who has been very impressive in red-ball cricket is Seales. The 21-year-old has featured in only nine Tests but has claimed 36 wickets at an average of 21.77 and a strike rate of 40.1.
"I think Jayden has a lot of skill... he has swing and control. I think that's his two greatest attributes. Maybe there won't be much swing in these conditions but he's good enough to extract some seam movement,” said Holder of Seales.
West Indies haven’t been doing well in white-ball cricket but have been pretty decent in Test cricket. Apart from winning four encounters against Bangladesh, West Indies have also managed to defeat the likes of Pakistan and England in the last two years.
"If you look at the nucleus of the Test side, I think we've been together for the last five, six years. I think that is really important in comparison to the other sides... probably a little bit more chopping and changing.
"I think our long-format cricket has really developed, so it's really good signs and a lot of our players are developing."