West Indies to target Australian rookies
The West Indies will target Australia's inexperienced players in the second Test at Hobart beginning November 17, according to a determined Shivnarine Chanderpaul, the opposing captain.
Australia are likely to play Brad Hodge, the uncapped middle order batsman, Michael Hussey, the makeshift opener who debuted in the first Test, and Andrew Symonds, the hard-hitting allrounder who has only played two Tests. Speaking to The Age, Chanderpaul maintained that his side will look to exploit this weak link in the second Test. "Obviously you have guys who are now coming into the side and they're looking to make a name for themselves," Chanderpaul said. "They don't have as much experience as the other guys and will probably be a bit shaky in the beginning. Hopefully we can get it right come next game and sort these things out early."
Hodge, who recently stated that he was the most deserving Australian batsman in line for Test cricket, scored a fantastic 177 on day one of the drawn tour match at the Junction Oval and looked at ease against the West Indian attack.
Chanderpaul, who scored 59 in the same match, took some positives from the rain-curtailed match. "As a batter obviously you would want to spend some time in the middle and I am happy that I got to spend some time out there," Chanderpaul said. "We played two games, one before the Test match and in the Test match and not much happened for me and for some of the other guys. This was one of those games where you want to make sure you spend time in the middle and I think it has done some good for us."
His main advice to his batsmen was to be more patient. "It's a Test match, so you need to go out there and settle," he said. "We came off a one-day tournament. You need to get the balance right and go out there and put your head down and bat instead of going in and playing all these shots that can get you out." His team-mates need not look further than Chanderpaul himself, who grafted a patient innings - he was at the crease for over four hours and faced just one ball less than what Hodge needed for his 177 on day one - even as wickets fell around him.
Absent from the match against Victoria was Brian Lara, who struggled for runs in the West Indies' 379-run loss at Brisbane. Commenting on Lara's form, Chanderpaul was supportive of his team-mate. "Brian, I don't think he's struggling. I just think he needs some more time in the middle and he is stroking the ball well and it's just one of those things. He could go out there tomorrow and just get runs on the board for us."
Chanderpaul also stated that Wavell Hinds, who was sidelined from the first Test owing to a hairline fracture of his finger sustained in a warm-up match against Queensland, would be considered for the Hobart Test, as would Dwayne Bravo, the allrounder.