West Indies vs India 2016: Jason Holder braces for 'tough challenge' against visitors
All-rounder stresses on the importance of a solid first-innings performance
With his side returning to whites after more than six months, West Indies captain Jason Holder has called for more patience from supporters due to the squad’s inexperience. Barbados Today reported the 24-year old remaining wary of India’s settled Test outfit in the upcoming 4-match series.
Holder admitted, “It's going to be a tough series. India is ranked number 2 for a reason. They have a quality batting line-up and a quality bowling attack as well. It will be a tough challenge for this young Test team.”
The seam bowling all-rounder added, “Our Test team is a very inexperienced one, it is one that needs time to gel together and put performances together and get to know one another a little bit more. We're practically in a transitional phase and we're trying to groom a Test team and it will take time.“
A newly instated selection committee led by former wicket-keeper Courtney Browne decided to axe senior players such as Denesh Ramdin and Kemar Roach from the 12-member squad. The retirement of pacer Jerome Taylor from Tests also meant that the bowling attack was left considerably weakened.
However, Holder retained optimism by insisting, “One of the big things we fell down in the past is batting 90 overs in a day and setting up a good first innings total. That is something I want to keep stressing in the dressing room. It is important we set the tone whether batting first or bowling first.”
When asked about his personal expectations from the series, the right-hander revealed that he was hoping to score at least one century as well as securing a maiden five-wicket haul.
Looking back on his Test career so far, Holder noted, “To be fair, I'm not too disappointed with my progression. Seeing where I was in 2014 to where I am now is a significant improvement. Obviously, I think it could've been a lot better. Ideally, I would like to average 35 plus with the bat and be able to pick up a few more wickets.“
Not too fazed by the hectic international calendar, Holder enthused, “I'm ready for the series. I feel well rested and it's work time. Again it's a quick turnaround time, just 2 weeks at home, would've loved to have a bit more time off but that's how the international schedule goes.”
The first Test begins on July 21 at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua before the action proceeds to Jamaica, Gros Islet and Trinidad.