Jason Holder expects lively pitch at Sabina Park for first Test
ESPNCricInfo - Friday 21st April, 2017
West Indes captain Jason Holder believes his side can pick up where they left off against Pakistan in the final Test of their previous three-Test series in the UAE, aiming to carry that momentum into the opening Test of the return three-Test series beginning at Sabina Park on Friday. But Holder says that in order for his side to achieve a positive result, the team has to follow through on the potential they showed at the end of their UAE tour rather than the inconsistent displays that have undermined progress in the past.
"For me just stressing consistency," Holder said at a press conference in Kingston on the eve of the first Test. "One thing we've spoken about in the dressing room is momentum and if we have the momentum, we need to hold it as long as possible and not shift it back to the Pakistanis. For us it's just to get runs on the board in the first innings and our bowlers will support us in the field."
Holder's men have found success hard to come by in the longest format - the 25-year-old was winless in his first 11 Tests in charge - but finally earned a gritty victory at Sharjah by five wickets last November and is hoping to bring that winning spirit into Kingston.
"We finished off the year last year quite well, we won that game in Sharjah," Holder said. "We batted well and we also got 20 wickets. In the past we've been able to get 20 wickets but we haven't been able to consistently put runs on the board and that's one area that we need to obviously pay attention to. The first innings total obviously is very very important for us to start the game well and obviously set up things well for the end of the game."
History is on West Indies side. They have never lost a Test series at home to Pakistan, hosting them seven times previously with four series wins. There have been three drawn series, including each of Pakistan's last two visits when the teams split twin two-Test series. On both occasions West Indies won the first match before Pakistan came back to draw the final match, including in 2005 at Sabina Park.
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