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Holder backs batsmen to negate Afghan spin threat


first_imgLUCKNOW, India, (CMC) – Captain Jason Holder says West Indies are bracing for the anticipated trial by spin against Afghanistan  but has backed his batting group to negate the threat when the one-off inaugural Test bowls off here Wednesday.(Tuesday night Caribbean time)West Indies batsmen had their hands full in the preceding white-ball series as the likes of wily leg-spinning captain Rashid Khan and off-spinners Mohammad Nabi and Mujeeb-ur-Rahman put their immense qualities on show.“Afghanistan will be no pushovers especially in these conditions which they are familiar with. I expect they will play plenty spinners,” Holder said.“It will be up to our batsmen to negotiate their spinners and do it well… they have some really good spinners, but I believe we have the quality to do that. Our bowling unit has done well over the last three to four years – arguably one of the best bowling attacks in the world. Hopefully our bowling attack can continue.”West Indies were forced to share the white-ball series, making a clean sweep of the three-match One-Day International series before losing the Twenty20 rubber 2-1.The upcoming Test will the sixth and final one for West Indies this year and Holder said his side was highly motivated to come away with a victory.They beat England 2-1 in a three-Test series at the start of the year before going down 2-0 to India recently.“We are really up for this, we really want to win this match and we really want to end the series with a win and end the year on a high, where Test cricket is concerned,” Holder pointed out.“I don’t think we play another Test match until we tour England next year. Having started the year with a series win, it would be fitting to end the year with a series win.”Conditions will play a key role in the contest at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Stadium, the venue for every match in the series so far.The surface there has provided plenty encouragement  for the slower bowlers and West Indies spinners Jomel Warrican and Rahkeem Cornwall finished with nine wickets between them in the three-day tour match which ended in a draw earlier this week.However, Holder said he believed his seam attack still possessed the ability to get assistance from the flat track.“In the Caribbean you get more bounce than we have seen in the surfaces here, even though we have noticed the pace of the pitches back home has slowed down a bit,” he noted.“For me the skill level of our bowlers is what has really done it for us. We have Kemar Roach, who has been tremendous and who is approaching 200 Test wickets, and we’ve also seen great improvement and commitment from Shannon Gabriel, who even though he’s not here, has been good for us.”He continued: “They have earned success mainly due to their tremendous skills, rather than due to pace. In this day and age, you have to be skillful with the ball. We also have spinners who are eager to get going in these conditions because, as we all have noticed, the conditions will favor the slow bowlers.“Overall, it will be a good challenge and I’m looking forward to the start of it.”last_img read more


USC prepares for Thursday night game


first_imgThursday’s football game against the University of Arizona Wildcats marks the first non-bowl game to be held on a Thursday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and with it will bring new gameday procedures.The reason behind the schedule change this year is because USC is required to host a Thursday night game twice every three years as a member of the Pac-12 Conference, USC Associate Athletic Director Jose Eskenazi said.“It’s a mandated thing from the conference,” Eskenazi said. “It’s obviously not our preference to host a Thursday night game, but we have to do it, and were excited to do it in the sense that we’ll tackle it head-on and hopefully it’ll be a great game experience for all those that attend.”For the Thursday night game, no on-campus parking for the game or on-campus tailgating will be allowed.Captain David Carlisle said the university made the decision to ban campus activities to ensure that academics on campus will not be interrupted.“This being the first Thursday night game ever for USC, it’s going to be a challenge in that there will be no tailgating allowed on campus,” Carlisle said. “That is a decision that the university has made because it is going to be considered a normal academic day.”Since no on-campus parking will be available to those attending the game, other options will be made available.“Parking will be available down in L.A. Live and several lots will be open that folks can park there, and there will be a shuttle service to and from the Coliseum,” Eskenazi said.Tailgating opportunities have also been added at the Galen Center and the Coliseum.“To make up for the lack of tailgating on campus, the Galen Center will have an open tailgate that you can walk up to and pay to attend, and also the Cardinal and Gold Picnic at the Coliseum has opened up spaces for the general public,” Eskenazi said.Thursday classes will be held on their regular schedules.“Some schools cancel classes if they host a weekday football game,” Eskenazi said. “At USC, it was the administration’s decision not to do that. USC is an academic institution first and foremost, so classes are regularly scheduled and all ongoing regular campus activities will go on.”Both DPS and the Athletic Department have been preparing for months to make sure that the night goes smoothly.“We’ve been planning this for a good eight to nine months,” Eskenazi said. “It all started with getting all groups on campus together to talk about what the plans should be and what the communications would be, and making sure we adhere to the university policy that classes would still be in session and find alternatives for people to be able to attend the game.”Gian Johl, a graduate student studying business administration who plans to attend the game, said that his midterm was rescheduled as a result of the football game.“The class voted to take the midterm early because of logistics,” Johl said.Ronan Young, a freshman majoring in business administration who regularly attends USC football games, said he thinks the Thursday night date will negatively affect student attendance.“I feel like the student attendance won’t quite be the same because a lot of people that would say, go on a Saturday because it’s the only thing to do, now have work to do or schoolwork to do, and now they’re going to choose not to go,” Young said.Sean Lee, an undecided freshman who is choosing not to go to the game, also believes the date will hinder attendance.“I have the student section tickets, but I’m selling mine because I can’t make it,” Lee said. “I have a 9 a.m. class and a lot of stuff going on Friday.”Others students, however, said that the usual schedule will not stop them from going to the game.“I will definitely be attending,” said Paul Samaha, a freshman majoring in public relations. “Most people I know are still going.”The Athletic Department said they are aware of the effect that the new date could have on game attendance.“Everyone is used to it being on a Saturday so it’s a change-up from the traditional college football attending experience,” Eskenazi said. “Obviously work and school schedules will affect your ability to attend.”Nevertheless, the department is excited for this new opportunity.“It’s the first time we’ve had this sort of ‘week night under the lights’ kind of game,” Eskenazi said. “Coach [Orgeron] is pretty excited about it and he really wants the students’ support, sort of this renewed energy of the team with his leadership. I think it could be a pretty fun deal for students.”last_img read more




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