BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – West Indies captain Jason Holder has great faith in his young team that they can challenge England in the upcoming Wisden Trophy Test Series. The first contest of the three-match rubber bowls off at the historic Kensington Oval on Wednesday. First ball is 10 am (9am Jamaica Time).
Holder spoke to members of the media on Tuesday morning as the home side completed their preparations. He repeated his theme that “consistency is the name of the game” and as “underdogs we will fight hard and dig deep” in a bid to topple the visitors.
“What you have seen of this bowling attack in the last couple of series is consistency. We have done a hell of a job of trying to take 20 wickets more often than not. We want to continue and get even better. I just think we need to start the series well by putting some runs on the board in the first innings and making an early statement. England obviously have a quality bowling attack, but we have demonstrated glimpses of what we can do against this attack.”
Holder added: “We obviously had a really good time at Headingley and fought back well in that series. And then last time in the Caribbean we did really well to fight back here in Barbados. We know we can perform against this attack. It is a case of being consistent and sticking to our game plans for long periods.”
The captain was on Tuesday named in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Test Team of the Year for 2018. Last year he was fantastic with bat and ball and led from the front with 33 wickets at an amazing average of 12.3 runs per wickets. He also scored 336 runs at an average of 37.33 runs an innings. These performances catapulted him to Number 2 in the ICC Test rankings for allrounders.
“Was a good year for me, last year… I want to continue and I want to get even better in this year. What worked well was building pressure with the ball and I really focused on my RPO (runs per over) and keeping the batsman at one end. With the bat, what was missing … hundreds … I really value hundreds, it’s something in the back of my mind. So, I’m concentrating in my batting. I’m looking to get bigger scores.. right now I’m feeling really good mentally,” the 27-year-old six-footer said.
“Overall, I was quite pleased with how 2018 went for me personally, but we’re still low in the rankings. I would feel better if I was in the ICC XI and we were in the top three in the world. That’s basically my aspiration. Just to keep doing as much as I can to win a few more games for West Indies.”
A crowd of close to 13,000 is expected for the opening day and Holder called on Windies fans to rally round the team and show their support.
“We always value the support of our fans and that support goes a long way. This will be a highly-competitive series and we aim to give our faithful and loyal supporters something to shout about and a lot to celebrate.”
Jason Holder (Captain)
NOTE: Oshane Thomas has been called up as cover for Alzarri Joseph
1st Wisden Trophy Test: Kensington Oval, Barbados – Jan 23-27
2nd Wisden Trophy Test: Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground, Antigua – Jan 31 to Feb 4
3rd Wisden Trophy Test: Daren Sammy Cricket Ground, Saint Lucia – Feb 9-13
TICKETS: on sale at local ticket booths in Barbados and online at https://www.windiescricket.com via the “BuyTickets” button.
Antigua Test tickets started at ticket booths from January 21.
Saint Lucia Test tickets go on sale at ticket booths from January 28.