REUTERS – West Indies captain Jason Holder said the tourists would need a big step up in performance for their second clash with Australia in Melbourne later this month after suffering their fifth heaviest ever test defeat on Saturday.
They will have to do it without Shannon Gabriel, however, as the pace bowler will be sent home after suffering an ankle injury which prevented him from taking any part in the last two days of the match. A replacement has not been decided upon.
The innings and 212-run loss was a sixth straight test defeat for West Indies after they lost both matches in a home series against Australians earlier this year and were swept 2-0 in Sri Lanka in October.
It was the dispiriting manner of the crushing Hobart defeat, however, that will hurt Caribbean cricket fans most.
Undisciplined bowling allowed Adam Voges and Shaun Marsh to rack up a world record fourth wicket stand of 449 and mostly abject batting allowed the Australians to force the follow-on and finish the match inside three days.
“Obviously, this is a step backwards,” Holder told reporters in Hobart.
“We’ve shown in the past that we can compete. It’s just a case of putting together collective efforts for longer periods of the game. We have too many quick spurts of cricket during the game. We just need to do the good things for longer.”
Given the problems that have beset West Indies cricket over the last decade it is perhaps unfair to expect Holder, who only turned 24 last month, to arrest the decline.
“No doubt the results haven’t gone my way and it’s been tough times,” the allrounder said.
“But if you think back for a number of years, West Indies cricket has been like this. I’m not making excuses for anybody but it’s a situation most of us found when we came in.
“It’s up to this current group to find a way to turn things around. The only way we can turn this around is by performances.
“Batsmen need to take the onus upon themselves to make runs. With ball in hand, bowlers need to do similar and take wickets. That’s the only way we can take a step forwards.”
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Amlan Chakraborty)