“It’s a wonderful opportunity for everyone” – Andre Coley says New-look Windies hoping for fresh fortunes

Cricket Australia will host West Indies for a two-match Test series starting Wednesday (January 17). The tourists will take on Cricket Australia XI in a three-day warm-up game on Wednesday, January 10.

The Windies will have a new-look squad, including seven uncapped players. West Indies begin their second men’s Test tour to Australia in barely a year hopeful that a new coach and a slew of fresh faces will also deliver them a change in fortunes.

Kraigg Brathwaite’s team finalise their Test preparation with a three-day game against a Cricket Australia XI starting tomorrow.

While the tour match is not an official first-class fixture which means both teams can rotate more than 11 players through their line-ups, it will provide vital experience for a visiting outfit that bears little resemblance to the squad that played two Tests here at the end of 2022.

Former Jamaica wicketkeeper Andre Coley has taken over as coach after Phil Simmons’ tenure ended after the previous Australia campaign, and he believes the inclusion of untried talent coupled with the challenge posed by the world’s top-ranked Test outfit on their home turf can bring the best out of his unheralded squad.

“At the moment we have a number of white-ball franchise tournaments that are happening at around the same time, we have a couple of injuries as well so when you put all of that together it will have impacted some of the selection,” Coley told cricket.com.au today.

“But with that said, it does not take away from the fact the players who are here on tour actually merit their selection.

“So it’s an opportunity for the players that are here to express themselves and play against a team who won the last (World) Test Championship.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for everyone.”

West Indies last Test victory in Australia came at the WACA Ground in Perth 27 years ago, and their most recent win away from home came against Bangladesh at Dhaka in February 2021.

Coley said the absence of formal first-class status for this tour game gives him a chance to have a look at how all members of the West Indies squad acquit themselves in Australia conditions, and also allows them to better manage fast-bowler workloads.

But Coley was today keeping an open mind as to whether the planned uniformity between Karen Rolton and Adelaide Ovals would prove an advantage heading into next week’s series opener.

“That’s the thing about pitches, no two are the same,” he said.

“So as you play on them you assess and you work out what the approach is going to be.

“Similarly in a Test match, you have an idea how Adelaide pitches will play but we’ll take it one step at a time.

“We’ll tackle the three-day match and get as much as we can from the three-day and from the surface that’s offered, and then when the Test match comes around we’ll deal with that.”

West Indies squad: Kraigg Brathwaite (c), Alzarri Joseph (vc), Alick Athanaze, Tagenarine Chanderpaul, Joshua DaSilva, Justin Greaves, Kavem Hodge, Tevin Imlach, Akeem Jordan, Shamar Joseph, Zachary McCaskie, Kirk McKenzie, Gudakesh Motie, Kemar Roach, Kevin Sinclair

CA XI squad: Peter Handscomb (c), Jack Clayton, Harry Conway, Jake Doran, Jayden Goodwin, Liam Haskett, Bradley Hope, Jack Nisbet, Liam Scott, Tim Ward, Doug Warren, Teague Wyllie

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