Big player Samuels a target for Aussies

Australian fast bowler Mitchell Johnson says it’s no coincidence West Indies veteran Marlon Samuels was caught twice on the boundary hooking in the first Test.


The 34-year-old has been identified as a key wicket by Australia’s bowlers, particularly with veteran left-hander Shivnarine Chanderpaul overlooked.

Samuels made his highest Test score against Australia in the second innings of last week’s first Test, a patient 74 that gave the hosts a chance of fighting their way back into the match.

But, just as he did in the first innings when he skied a hook shot off Mitchell Starc to Josh Hazlewood on the boundary, Samuels fell into the trap when Johnson dug one in short.

The Jamaican’s departure sparked a collapse as Australia romped to a nine-wicket win inside three days.

“It was definitely something we spoke about,” Johnson said.

“He’s not too good with the short ball … it was definitely a plan to bowl a few short ones at him, try to get him to hook.

“He was going along perfectly there for the team and they probably missed an opportunity there.

“I think that was probably a build up of pressure as well, the reason why he went after the short ball. You have those plans in place, but when they work it is very exciting.”

Samuels can expect more short-ball treatment when the second Test gets underway in Kingston from Thursday.

“He’s a big player for them,” Johnson said.

“He looks ugly the way he plays the game, it is not a conventional sort of style but he gets the job done for them.

“They really need him to fire through the next game.”