West Indies captain Jason Holder bowls at the Galle International Stadium nets on Tuesday. (Pic by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi)

Sa’adi Thawfeeq reporting from Galle

GALLE: West Indies new Test captain Jason Holder is confident that his team would be up to the mark in the first Test against Sri Lanka starting at Galle International Stadium on Wednesday despite a poor batting display against spin by their top order batsmen in the three-day warm-up match at the SSC last week.

“I am not too startled by our performance we wanted to spend time in the middle and certain batsmen didn’t spend much time as they would have wanted to but speaking to them the way they’ve been moving in the last few days they look fairly confident. I have full confidence in our batsmen,” said 23-year-old Holder who will lead West Indies in a Test for the first time.

“It’s a special day for me tomorrow appearing for the first time as captain but for me what is bigger is the present team, it’s a young group and it’s important for us to get into this Sri Lanka team as early as possible,” he said.

“They are kind of in a sense finding their way as well so it is just important that we start well, put some early pressure on them and make early inroads into their side.

“If we can start well and win this series it will be important for us for the next series in Australia.”

For the young West Indies team getting adapted to the hot conditions and putting early pressure on the Sri Lankan team were the key elements which they have been working on ahead of the first Test.

“The hardest thing so far was adapting to the heat. We’ve done that pretty nicely, obviously in the Caribbean it’s pretty hot certain times of the year.  We’ll try and embrace and enjoy as much as possible. We had a fair bit of spin bowling so far since we’ve been here and the guys have adjusted well,” said Holder.

Although West Indies have the experience in pace with Jerome Taylor, Kemar Roach and Holder, the West Indies captain said it’s not only pace that is required to upset a batsman but skill as well.

“We have a bit of pace in our attack but skill comes into play in these conditions they are pretty batting friendly. Pace may not rattle many international batsmen you have to be skillful as well and Jerome has adapted to that in the last few series. Hopefully whatever team we come up in the first test match in Galle and whoever gets selected will do his best for the team,” Holder said.

One thing that will suit the West Indies fast bowlers is the reverse swing which is conducive in conditions close to the sea with the cross winds.

“In the past we’ve spoken a lot about revere swing it’s something we have technically been doing pretty well,” said Holder.

“We are working really well with the coaching staff. We’ll try to get much reverse swing as we possibly can depending on the conditions. Having said that our boys are skilled enough and adapt well to different conditions. There’s nothing different for them tomorrow as they start the series.”

West Indies cricketers Denesh Ramdin and Rajindra Chandrika await their batting turns at the Galle nets. (Pic by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi)
West Indies cricketers Denesh Ramdin and Rajindra Chandrika await their batting turns at the Galle nets. (Pic by Lakruwan Wanniarachchi)