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Fast bowlers to lead West Indies charge

West Indies skipper Jason Holder admits he’s even having trouble winning the toss of late.

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But the underdog captain said his team’s preparation was as good as it could be going into Thursday’s Hobart Test series opener against Australia.

While the visitors’ final XI is yet to be confirmed, the likelihood is a line-up similar to that thrashed by 10 wickets by a rookie Australian side during a warm-up game in Brisbane last week, plus the addition of fast bowler Jerome Taylor.

The right-arm quick will spearhead the West Indies’ attack and, along with bolter Shannon Gabriel, will be charged with slicing through the Aussie middle order.

“If we can get into their middle order as quickly as possible, that would be better off for us,” Holder told reporters on Wednesday.

Australia’s in-form opener David Warner and No.3 Steve Smith are the sticking points in the West Indies’ plan and will be the priorities for Taylor and Gabriel.

And once they’re gone, Holder wants to target what he sees a shaky middle order.

“Guys like Shaun Marsh, who’s coming back into the side, and Joe Burns (who) is trying to make his mark … there are some other guys who are just trying to settle in (to) the Australian side who we can try to exploit and put pressure on if we get the top-order players out,” the skipper said.

It will be tempting for Holder to unleash his fast bowlers as soon as possible on a green Bellerive deck, but that’s up to the mercy of a coin flip.

“We’ll see how it goes – I haven’t won a toss for a little while either,” he joked.

Having put the Brisbane walloping behind them, Holder said the West Indies had knuckled down to training.

“All the guys have done all they possibly can leading up to this first game.

“It has to be a situation where we have to put things right: players think a little bit more on their feet and just try to analyse each situation as it comes.

“Once we do that, we will be in good stead in this first Test match.”

Amid widespread scrutiny of their inexperience, Holder admitted some of the commentary might be justified.

“We haven’t been near our best in the recent past but I still have faith that we can turn things around,” he said, adding that consistency would be the key to change.

“That’s where we fell down for the last few months, the last few years. It has to start somewhere – we just need to be consistent in whatever we do.

“Once we start doing that, we’ve shown in the past that we can take 20 wickets.

“We just need to put our heads down, think a little bit more and try to fight through situations.”

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