Wednesday, April 24, 2024

High hopes

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They may be headed “Down Under”, but Tino Best and Jason Holder will be looking to overwhelm Australia.
Both Best and Holder, who have been selected in the West Indies 15-man squad to tour Australia from January 29 to February 13, are eagerly awaiting their chance to go head-to-head with the world’s third-ranked One Day International (ODI) team.
Along with fellow Barbadian Kemar Roach, they will spearhead the regional team’s pace attack in the series, which will feature five ODIs and one Twenty20 match.
Yesterday, during a media briefing at Kensington Oval, Best and Holder expressed delight at being selected on the team that was due to leave the island late last night.
Best, 31, had an impressive tour of Bangladesh late last year, where he was the leading wicket taker in the two-Test series with 12 scalps.
He followed that with a sterling performance at the just concluded Caribbean Twenty20 competition, finishing with the most wickets (ten) in the tournament.
“You know, I am really looking forward to the tour, and I just want to continue striving for excellence and make sure that I wear the West Indies colours with pride,” he said.
“Having taken those back-to-back five-wicket hauls in Bangladesh gave me a lot of confidence because only guys like Dale Steyn [the South African pacer] do that kind of stuff.
“We will be playing against one of the best teams in the world, and against some of the best batsmen in the world, and these guys aren’t afraid of fast bowling, so I know that I will have to be smart.”
Best admitted that the Australians would probably be expecting him to bowl short.
However, he said that he planned to be the “mature Tino Best and not the Tino Best of old,” by bowling the ball in the right places.
Holder, a relative newcomer to the international scene, with last year’s tour to Bangladesh being his first with the senior team, received rave reviews during the Caribbean Twenty20.
And the tall, lanky fast bowler is eagerly looking forward to stamping his mark among the world’s best.
“I am prepared and I think that I have done what is necessary. I think that during the Twenty20, I bowled well and I fielded well and I am glad for the opportunity to represent the West Indies,” the 21-year-old said.
“Right now, I feel that I am bowling a bit quicker and the conditions in Australia will favour fast bowling, but at the end of the day, I still have to go and bowl the ball.
So it is about me assessing the wicket as early as possible.”
A capable batsman, Holder is also be hoping to get some runs.
“I’m confident about my batting. Obviously, in the T20, it was a bit difficult batting in Trinidad and I was a little disappointed with how I batted,” he said.
“I felt a lot better in St Lucia when the ball was coming on.”

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