India vs West Indies 2016: Jason Holder - "Can't expect too much from a very young side"
The young West Indian skipper could well be playing right into Virat Kohli's hands with his rather subdued expectations from the series.
As the West Indies line up to face a seemingly formidable Virat Kohli led Indian team, their young skipper Jason Holder knows all too well that the going will be tough. India start the series as overwhelming favourites but pre-match statements from their rival captain would certainly boost the confidence.
Speaking to reporters at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium ahead of the first Test, Holder said, “The ultimate aim is to start performing well in Test cricket. We have got a young side, and we are looking to build something”.
The West Indies were hammered both home and away by a marauding Australian side and Holder recognizes that their side is on a learning curve. “In the last series we played in Australia, we didn’t start really well. Moving on into the Test series, we got significantly better”. He added that improvement is the key. “All I stress and address with the guys is to keep improving. You can’t expect leaps and bounds, too much from a very young side. Once we get the steady progression in terms of improvement, I think we’ll move forward”.
While emphasising on fitness, the all-rounder said, “In the recent past, we’ve played two-three Test matches in a series and this is the first time I am involved in a four-match series. It’s really important that we manage our bodies as well as possible”. While throwing caution to the wind, he added, “It’s not going to be easy. But once you manage yourselves well, in between Test matches and on the field, you should get through quite well”.
When quizzed about the tracks expected for the series, Holder said, “The wickets have died down significantly. If you look at the series in the recent past, you see a lot slow turning tracks. I remember the last time in Antigua, it was a pretty good wicket and it lasted all five days. If this wicket’s anything similar to that, we can expect a really competitive game”.
The curators at St. John’s have left a bit of grass on the track and this has been attracting attention as this pitch is vastly different from the slow tracks that India played on at St. Kitts.
When asked about the team combination, the skipper said, “It’s hard to predict what you get at certain places you go. I think it’s just a matter of assessing whatever you get and make a decision there in terms of your selections and combinations”.
That the West Indian team is relatively young and inexperienced is a known fact but with their skipper now being brutally honest about their prospects, India will certainly go into the first Test with a spring in their stride.