After winning the Champions Trophy in 2004 and reaching the final in the next edition, West Indies failed to qualify for the tournament this year. They hit another low when they tumbled to a 63-run defeat against Afghanistan in St Lucia last month. Not many would have given them a chance to topple India, especially after they had suffered heavy losses in the second and third ODIs. Things seemed dire for the hosts in the fourth match as well, when they snoozed their way to 189 for 9. But the bowlers, led by captain Jason Holder, rallied the team to defend the score against No. 3-ranked India.
Holder, who used the word “proud” three times in the press conference, put down the win to resilience. “I have a lot of faith in the guys and have a lot of faith in myself,” he said. “Once we stay together, we can learn as quickly as possible and see more results like this.
“Extremely proud. We have copped a lot of criticism over the last four months as a team. We haven’t had the best results and people tend to write us off. The way the guys played today, I am extremely proud. Our backs were against the wall at the halfway stage and a lot of people didn’t expect us to win the game. But it shows what we have in us and I am really, really proud of the guys.”
Holder played a starring role, claiming a maiden five-wicket haul in his 62nd ODI, and was ably backed up by Kesrick Williams, who was playing his second ODI, and Alzarri Joseph, who had replaced Miguel Cummins. Williams, in particular, shackled MS Dhoni, conceding only 13 runs off 33 balls. The fast bowler ultimately had Dhoni holing out to long-on at the end of the 49th over, bringing the equation to 14 from the last over.
“The guys really, really supported me not only in the field but with suggestions,” Holder said. “The bowlers really supported me the way they came out and bowled. It is easier when guys come out and do what is expected of them. I must give Kesrick Williams a lot of credit; I thought he did an outstanding job. He is only in his second game and showed a lot of maturity. Alzarri Joseph also makes the job a lot easier.”