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Windies fired up for tour opener, says Holder

Friday, November 24, 2017

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LINCOLN, New Zealand (CMC) — West Indies captain Jason Holder believes the three-day tour match against New Zealand A starting here Saturday, will be enough to complement his side's preparation for the upcoming Test series.

The fixture at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval is the only tour match before the Caribbean side clash with the Black Caps in two Tests – at the Basin Reserve in Wellington from December 1-5 and at Seddon Park in Hamilton from December 9-13.

“We've been on the road for a little while. We just came from Zimbabwe. We didn't go home so we went straight to Australia [and] we just kept our cricket going and kept topping up,” Holder told reporters here ahead of the match.

“I think we're in good stead. We had a two-day game in Australia as well and we're coming here having a three-day game before the first Test match. Based on the amount of cricket we've played in the last three months, I think we're ready to go.”
West Indies arrived from Australia last Tuesday and have quickly moved to get acclimatised to the cool conditions in the south western Pacific, with daily training sessions.

Holder confirmed that every member of the 15-man squad was fit and available for selection for the tour game, and would take part in some capacity.

West Indies are coming off a 1-0 victory over Zimbabwe in a two-Test series in Bulawayo earlier this month, and Holder said the New Zealand tour would be an opportunity to continue that progression.

“I think over the last few months the guys have really put their names out there,” the all-rounder noted.

“Guys like Kraigg Brathwaite have done well for us over a number of years, Shai Hope is just coming to the forefront of his potential to be honest, and we've got guys like Roston Chase who will probably lead our batting.

“We've got inexperience in our bowling but still one or two experienced heads like Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel. I think it is a good mixture that we have. The beauty about our side is that we've been together for the last year-and-a-half and I think we've been going quite well.
“I expect really good things from us based on what we've been doing over the last year and hopefully we can continue going on.”

The match gets underway at 6:00 pm, Friday (Eastern Caribbean time).
SQUAD – Jason Holder (captain), Kraigg Brathwaite (vice-captain), Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Kieran Powell, Raymon Reifer, Kemar Roach.

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