Hodge, Da Silva outline technical adjustments that led to improved performances in second Test

By January 25, 2024

The West Indies finally showed some signs of life on day one of the second Test against Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane on Wednesday.

After winning the toss and batting, the tourists ended the day 266-8, their first time over 200 in the series.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the Windies as Australia’s pace trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins ripped through the West Indian top order once again to leave them reeling at 64-5 at the tea interval.

After the break, a 149-run sixth wicket partnership between Joshua Da Silva and Kavem Hodge provided some much-needed stability to the innings.

Da Silva led the way with 79 off 157 balls while Hodge showed improved judgement from the first Test with a 194-ball 71, his first Test fifty.

“We knew it was always going to be a tough fight against the Australians,” Hodge said in an interview after the day’s play.

“Knowing we didn’t put out a good showing in the first Test, we knew we had to be consistent with whatever we do. It was important that whoever got in try to push on as deep as possible. Just unfortunate that we didn’t see out the end of the day but I’m really happy with the fight that the guys are showing so hopefully we can come out tomorrow and push on,” he added.

Hodge made just 12 and three in the first Test, being dismissed caught behind by Hazlewood on both occasions.

On Wednesday, however, he made a concerted effort to leave the ball outside off stump, an excellent adjustment by someone just making their way to the highest level.

He put this clarity of thought down to time at the crease.

“Definitely! I was the first to admit in the team meeting after the first Test that the butterflies got the best of me but now I’m a bit more relaxed and I can work my plan and enjoy the environment of Test cricket. I’m really happy with the time in the middle,” he said.

“I was more relaxed. Leaving the ball outside off stump was generally my game plan. It’s just like any normal cricket. The more time you spend at the wicket, the more relaxed you feel and you’ll make better judgements,” he added.

It was a similar experience for Joshua Da Silva who also came up short in the first Test with scores of six and 18. On Wednesday, he made his fourth Test fifty.

“It’s always nice to come up against Australia. Best team in the world on paper so to face an opposition like that and score some runs is nice,” said Da Silva in a post day press conference.

“Coming in 63-5, I just wanted to consolidate with Hodgie (Hodge). It was challenging at times but it had periods where it was a little bit easier,” he added.

Da Silva also adjusted well to the game plan of the Aussies. He was dismissed twice to the short ball in the first Test but made the effort to either play the ball down or to duck when faced with those deliveries on Wednesday.

“I knew it was coming after I got bounced out twice in Adelaide. I put on a chest pad this time and decided to duck from a few. Had to change the philosophy a bit because it wasn’t going well. Thankfully, it worked,” he said.

 

Bradley Jacks

Bradley Jacks is a budding journalist and an avid sports fan. His love of research and sports has led him to SportsMax.tv, a place where those passions work hand in hand to allow him to produce content.

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