PERTH, Australia – Captain Kraigg Brathwaite on Tuesday emphasized the importance of a disciplined all-round performance from West Indies, as they geared up for the first Test against favorites Australia at Perth Stadium bowling off here Wednesday.
He said the Caribbean side needed to be prepared for “10 days of hard Test cricket” if they were to find success in the two-Test series, which concludes with a day/night affair in Adelaide starting December 12.
“From the start, we have 10 days of hard Test cricket to play. We know Australia are a very, very good team especially at home, so the main thing for us is to focus on our disciplines and doing it right,” Brathwaite told a media conference.
“So when we’re batting we want to bat obviously a hundred overs plus, and when we’re bowling we looking to get 20 wickets so that obviously is to help a team win a game.
“So we’re obviously focusing on that. And we know Australia is a superior team so we’ve got to play 10 days of hard cricket, that’s the main focus.”
He continued: “We’re really putting our energies on doing our [respective] jobs correctly. So if we’re bowling, we want to bowl to the fields, stay disciplined throughout the whole day or however long we have to bowl.
“And as a batting unit, we want to be batting a hundred overs plus and we really want to put our energies on doing that and I think once we do that, we’ll do well in this series.”
West Indies have not beaten Australia in a Test series in 30 years and have won only a single match in 21 Tests over the last 19 years.
However, the touring side are unbeaten this year in five Tests, shocking England 1-0 in a three-match series in the Caribbean before trouncing the touring Bangladeshis 2-0.
The Test series is being played in the shadow of West Indies’ disappointing showing at the T20 World Cup but Brathwaite said he did not expect his side to be impacted negatively.
“We’ve been doing well this year, not losing any games for the year. I think it’s a good accomplishment and we’re obviously not focusing on what is gone,” he noted.
“The World Cup [campaign] was tough for us as a region but we know what we have to do and it’s starting from tomorrow. We’ve got to start well and take that into the rest of the series.”
The Aussies have named a strong XI for the opening Test with the fast bowling trio of captain Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood headlining the attack and the likes of Steve Smith, Usman Khawaja, David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne underpinning their batting.
While reiterating the quality in the hosts lineup, Brathwaite said West Indies would be ready for the challenge presented.
“We’re prepared. We knew for a little while what we’re coming up against,” he explained.
“Of the bowlers, we have footage and a few guys we would’ve played against them already so a lot of information was shared so we’re up for it.
“As I said, we know Australia [are strong] at home but we know what we have to do and the guys are really looking forward to the challenge.”
The match gets underway at 10:20 am (10:20 pm, Tuesday, Eastern Caribbean time).