Windies chase series-levelling Test win against Australia
West Indies captain Denesh Ramdin said his team aims to rebound with a win against Australia in the second and final game of their two-match Test series at Sabina Park, starting today.
The clash, which is slated to bowl off at 10 a.m., will see the regional side looking to wipe away memories of the first Test, which saw them going down by nine wickets inside three days in Dominica.
"We are all hurting from that defeat in Dominica," said Ramdin, following the team's final training session at the venue yesterday.
"The guys, however, are pretty confident. When you look back at the series against England where we came back and won the last Test in Barbados, that is the self-belief that we have."
The West Indies, which have not defeated Australia in a Test since 2003, look set to enter the contest with an unchanged batting line-up.
Newly installed West Indies Test Cricketer of the Year, Kraigg Brathwaite, is likely to be partnered at the top of the order by young Shai Hope, who after impressing on debut against England, failed twice in the opening Test.
Another youngster, the uncapped Rajendra Chandrika, is the other batsman in the squad, with left-arm spinner Veerasammy Permaul and Kemar Roach being the other substitutes.
This is expected to leave Marlon Samuels and Darren Bravo marshalling the batting, along with Jermaine Blackwood and new Test recruit Shane Dowrich.
The bowling unit, however, is unclear.
With a green-grass pitch, the West Indies selectors and coaching staff may consider adding Kemar Roach to their starting 11.
The first Test saw Roach missing out at the expense of Shannon Gabriel, who supported Jerome Taylor with the new ball.
All-rounder Jason Holder is the other quick bowler in the squad.
Unsure of the pitch
Ramdin was "not sure" of bowling changes, but described the pitch as good.
"We are going to see what it, the pitch, is like in the morning. I am not sure if they are going to take any more grass off, or, leave it on," he said of the rectangle, which had been trimmed the previous day.
"Whatever the final outcome, however, it should be a good pitch, both for batting and bowling and coming into day three and day four it should spin as well."
Leg-spinner Davendra Bishoo, who claimed six for 80 in Dominica, is the team's frontline slow bowler.
Australia could also play an unchanged 11.
Captain Michael Clarke and the in-form Steve Smith are set to lead, along with Shane Watson and David Warner, while their bowling is likely to feature the pace trio of Mitchell Johnson, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlehood once again, particularly given the state of the pitch.
"It's going to be an extremely tough match, as I was impressed with how the West Indies played hard in the first innings of first Test," stated Clarke.
"We are certainly not overconfident, probably similar to where we were at in the first Test.
"We know that if we play at our best, we give ourselves a good chance at winning and this Test will be no different.
"We will have to play at our best if we are to have success."
West Indies (from): Denesh Ramdin (captain), Devendra Bishoo, Jermaine Blackwood, Kraigg Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Rajendra Chandrika, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Veerasammy Permaul, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor.
Australia (from): Michael Clarke (captain), Steve Smith (vc), Fawad Ahmed, Brad Haddin (wk), Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Johnson, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Peter Nevill, Chris Rogers, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Adam Voges, David Warner, Shane Watson.