West Indies lacked sharpness and fitness in Perth Test, says Ian Healy

Perth, Dec 5 (IANS): Australia's legendary wicketkeeper-batter Ian Healy has sounded an ominous warning for the touring West Indies Test side, saying they might simply collapse in the second and final Test at Adelaide beginning on December 8.

The West Indies top order put up a dogged fight in both innings of the first Test they lost by 164 runs at Perth. But Healy believes they will not be able to withstand the Australian onslaught at Adelaide and are likely to crumble as they lack "sharpness" and "fitness".

Though the Kraigg Brathwaite-led side's top order did well, their bowler were off-colour, managing just six wickets in the opening Test, with Australia's Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith in particular punishing the attack.

"They're saying it was a dogged performance by the West Indies...I'd agree with that, their top order was quite dogged against our bowling onslaughts, but I don't think they had much else," Healy told SENQ's Pat and Heals on Monday.

"I think they lacked sharpness and they lacked fitness. They've got to get a lot better. My suspicions are they might collapse in Adelaide."

Healy was all praise for Labuschagne and Smith, declaring their efforts were some of the best of their careers. Labuschagne and Smith scored double-centuries in the first innings, before the former scored an unbeaten 104 in the second essay.

"Those first innings knocks by Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith were some of the best batting I've seen both of them do and that's saying something," said Healy. "Travis Head was aggressive. It was a good hit out. They're going to need to be that good under pressure. They did it when the pressure wasn't really on, but under pressure against South Africa they should be ready.

"Very good by the boys. I really liked their mannerisms. They were very appreciative to the crowd that showed up," added Healy.



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Title: West Indies lacked sharpness and fitness in Perth Test, says Ian Healy

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