BRISBANE, Australia — Skipper Jason Holder said he expected the West Indies to be heavily criticised after an alarming 10-wicket loss to the Cricket Australia XI on Saturday, just days before their opening Test with Australia.
In what will only add to concerns about the Windies’ level of competitiveness ahead of the three-Test series, the tourists buckled to an ignominious defeat in their only warm-up game ahead of next week’s first Test in Hobart.
The tourists managed to narrowly avoid an innings defeat with Holder scoring 65 off 99 balls to leave the home side with just 10 runs to win.
CA XI openers Tim Paine (6) and Jake Carder (7) needed just 17 balls to rustle up the required runs and inflict an embarrassing defeat on the West Indies.
Holder was trying to put on a brave face after the humiliation against a cobbled-together young side, featuring six players making their first-class debuts.
“Obviously we are going to cop a bit of criticism but we need to improve, no doubt about it,” Holder told reporters.
“We are at a stage now where we need to make strides forward, we have been stagnant the last few months.
“We need to pick ourselves up, look ourselves in the mirror and find something in ourselves.”
Holder admitted it would be a challenge to inspire his teammates ahead of the Bellerive Oval Test, but urged them to bounce back.
“The guys just have to take ownership sometimes,” he said.
“Once we own up to our mistakes we have to be positive and look at ways to improve.
“We are not looking for excuses, just ways to improve — that way we will move forward faster than we are at the moment.”
The Windies are a pale imitation of their glory days a quarter of a century ago and have been written off by the pundits heading into the Test series.
The once-formidable West Indies last won a Test in Australia in 1997 and last won a series here in 1992-93.
The second-ranked Australians are again expected to be too strong for the eighth-rated West Indies in the series, starting in Hobart on December 10.
The Caribbean tourists were bowled out for 243 and 210 by a rookie CA XI attack that pales in comparison to the Australian line-up waiting for them in Tasmania, albeit without left-arm quicks Mitchell Starc (injury) and Mitchell Johnson (retirement).
And their bowling arsenal hardly fired a shot as the CA XI amassed 444 off 104.2 overs in their first innings.
Holder was one of the few shining lights for the visitors.
Apart from his second innings half-century, Holder thrashed 26 in their first dig and took 4-76 with the ball.
There will be some soul searching ahead for the Windies side as they look for answers to stay in the contest against Steve Smith’s Australians, who last week clinched a 2-0 home series win over New Zealand. (AFP)
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