Windies won’t blow it
West Indies team manager Richie Richardson believes just one practice match - against the Cricket Australia XI in Brisbane starting today - will be enough for his team to adequately prepare for the three-Test series against Australia.
The team has arrived after a disappointing tour of Sri Lanka that brought just one victory (in a T20 match), and with just four players - Marlon Samuels, Kemar Roach, Jerome Taylor and Denesh Ramdin - who have previous Test experience Down Under.
The lack of an adequate preparation was blamed for New Zealand's slow start in its three-Test series against Australia, but Richardson said he was confident his players would quickly adapt for the first Test in Hobart, starting next Thursday.
"There's so much international cricket being played, there's not enough time (for more than one practice match)," he said.
"When I played we used to have three or four matches before the first Test and we used to play against all the state teams.
"But things have changed, and the players are accustomed to that. It's just about getting yourself ready as quickly as possible."
Richardson added he had no doubt the young West Indies squad was up to the rigours of performing well against the world's No.2 Test team in Australian conditions.
"I don't really see question marks - players come and players go," he said.
"We've got a young team that we're remodelling and we just hope they get as much experience as they can.
"Australia is a great place to get experience, and the cricket is very competitive.
"The conditions with the heat - it's not something that we're not accustomed to."
Richardson said he was pleased to see coach Phil Simmons reinstated last month, six weeks after he was suspended for an outburst over the squad selected to tour Sri Lanka.
"It wasn't easy for the team. We had a coach we started planning and working together with, and suddenly he's not there," Richardson said.
"But we're glad he's back."
CA XI captain James Peirson said his team would not treat the fixture as a practice match.
"Of course we're here to win, and it's a good opportunity for us because a lot of our guys aren't playing first-class cricket," he said.
"It's a good opportunity for the guys to push their names forward for Shield selection."
CA XI TEAM: James Peirson (c), Jordan Silk, Jake Carder, Nick Stevens, Josh Inglis (wk), Matthew Short, Tom Andrews, Simon Milenko, Ryan Sidebottom, Cameron Boyce, Ryan Lees, James Bazley (12th man).