Georgetown, Guyana – A confident West Indies team will go into battle against Pakistan on Thursday in the start of the First Digicel Test. The Guyana National Stadium will be the venue for the much-anticipated start of the two-match rubber.
First ball is 10 am (9 am Jamaica Time).
The Windies will be defending a proud record at home against the visitors. Pakistan has toured the Caribbean on six occasions and have never won a series. If the Windies win this series they will secure valuable ranking points to move up one place in the ICC Test Match ladder to sixth spot.
There was a buzz around the ground when the Windies held their final training session on Wednesday morning. Captain Darren Sammy spoke about that eagerness and readiness when he addressed members of the media at the official pre-match briefing.
"We believe we can win the series. We believe this because we have worked hard in the build-up to the series and we know we have the ability to perform on home turf and get the better of the Pakistanis. We saw an improved batting performance in the last two matches of the One Day Series and everyone in the team is feeling confident and fully prepared," Sammy said.
"We hope all the hard work we have been doing in the nets and the two-day warm-up match a few days ago, will be transferred into the middle. The way our bowling has been coming along in the last six months in One Day cricket and on the tour of Sri Lanka – we know we are capable of getting 20 wickets."
Sammy added: "We fought back really well to win the last two matches in the One Day format and we will take that momentum and belief into the Test matches. Test cricket is a different form of cricket, so we know we have to make the adjustment. We will have more time, so we will look to be patient as we execute. It’s about occupying the crease and putting good totals on the board when we bat. When we bowl, it’s about being patient and trying to get the ball in the right areas and building the pressure on the Pakistanis."
"Test cricket is the ultimate test. It’s what we all play for. I have strong confidence that whatever 11 is selected will go out and do the job for the people of the West Indies. The Test match pitch looks similar to the one we played on in the One Day match here, so I have faith our attack will deliver against what is a good Pakistan team."
West Indies squad: Darren Sammy (Captain), Brendan Nash (Vice Captain), Devendra Bishoo, Carlton Baugh (Wicketkeeper), Darren Bravo, Shiv Chanderpaul, Fidel Edwards, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Lendl Simmons, Devon Smith