All preparations are underway for the first match of the two-match Test series between the touring West Indies and Australia to begin on the 30th. (The first match starts at 10.20 pm TT time on Tuesday.)
Former West Indies fast bowler Tony Gray believes that the skill and determination of captain Kraigg Brathwaite and rookie opener Tagenarine Chanderpaul can frustrate the Australian pacers.
With John Campbell serving a four-year ban, West Indies legend s Shivanrine Chandrapul’s son Tagenareen Chanderpaul is set to make his debut.
Gray said the West Indies opening pair should avoid conceding early wickets as Perth’s wickets are expected to come with the bat and pace.
“I think it depends on Chanderpaul and Brathwaite’s partnership. I think if we could negate the Australians from getting wickets early on it will frustrate them because the world is expecting the Australians to annihilate us on those surfaces.”
Further commenting, Gray said that Chandrapaul and Brathwaite should continue to be patient at the crease.
“The tactical part of the game is Brathwaite and Chanderpaul’s temperament (stay consistent, we can be successful). The strength they have to bat for long and bat time, (if they) can produce those goods as a partnership then the Australians will bowl more aggressively and more direct type of deliveries and they will bowl some boundary ballls.”
“It is fundamentally important that both Tagenarine Chanderpaul and Brathwaite give us a good start to be competitive.”
Further commenting, Gray said that the West Indies openers need to take advantage of the pace of Australia’s bowlers.
“You have to play in your comfort zone. You can’t make too many extreme changes…both of them are very good with temperament and both of them are gap batsmen, meaning they put the ball in the gaps and they would be able to use the pace of the ball well.”
West Indies have a host of fast bowlers including Kemar Roach, Jason Holder, Alzzari Joseph, Jayden Seals and Anderson Phillips, and Gray believes the West Indies pacers have the skills to set up and exploit the conditions.
“I think that our bowlers have the ability and the variety in our attack to negate Australia’s ability to get big scores.”
Gray said Roach has an excellent record against left-handers and Joseph is an improved fast bowler. Holder is also not the fastest player but the former pacer believes he has the skills to be a handful in Perth.