Feet firmly on the ground: Holder calls for consistency ahead of Antigua Test

Holder West Indies ICC Cricket Antigua Test
31 Jan, 2019 8:37 am

DUBAI (92 News) – The Windies might have secured a solid victory against England in the first Test in Barbados, but consistency will be paramount ahead of the second game in Antigua, skipper Jason Holder has said.

An eight-wicket haul for Roston Chase and a sublime double century from Holder took the hosts to a 381-run win in the first Test. The Windies skipper, however, has his eyes firmly on the road ahead, saying the triumph in Barbados is now “history”.

“It’s great to be 1-0 up, but that’s history,” Holder said on Wednesday, 30 January, the eve of the second Test. “We are happy to be leading in the series but we have our feet firmly on the ground. We are not focusing on what happened before in Barbados. We are looking forward to this match and what we have ahead of us.

We have seen glimpses that this team can perform and beat the top sides in the world and it’s good to see we’re bringing it a bit more but we need to be consistent

Jason Holder

“It’s for us to move on and understand what we need to do. We speak about consistency in the dressing room and I think we’ve got to be hitting all three departments well every time we step on the field.

“There is still work to be done… a lot of work still to be done. But we know as long as we continue to work hard we will get the results we are looking for. I am again calling for consistency. I want to see us come out again and show that we can play well again and win again.”

The last time England toured the Caribbean, they drew the three-Test series 1-1. Since then, the Windies have struggled to hold fort at home, winning just one out of five series in red-ball cricket.

How significant would be a series win against England here? “It would mean a lot but again I don’t want to focus too much on the series at this point in time,” said Holder, who, at 28 games, is closing in on 30 Tests as the Windies skipper.

“I want to focus on the second match. We have got to hit all three departments every time we step on the field. We have seen glimpses that this team can perform and beat the top sides in the world and it’s good to see we’re bringing it a bit more but we need to be consistent.”

Shannon Gabriel, the Windies seamer, hurled bowling missiles past Joe Root in the first Test. His pace and precision unsettled the England captain, denying him the space and time to settle into his innings.

“I wasn’t surprised,” said Holder, lavishing praise on his bowler. “Shannon has done [that] to many batsmen around world cricket. He carries pace and he was aggressive. We were probably a little flat with England two down and over 100, we needed to break the partnership. Shannon gave us the momentum and really hit them hard. It was really good to see.”

The seamer picked up a foot injury midway through the Test, but has recovered in time for Antigua. “Expect Shannon to continue to run in. He obviously had a bit of toe injury in the last game but that seems to have healed quite nicely,” the captain added.

The second Test between the Windies and England begins in Antigua from 31 January.


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