Jason Holder has urged his inexperienced West Indies side to “make a mark” during the ODI series against England.
While West Indies’ recent results have not been hugely encouraging – their last ODI action saw them fail to qualify for the final of a tri-series involving Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe – Holder believes his squad contains some richly talented cricketers that require only more experience of international cricket before results start to improve.
“The more cricket we play together, the better we’ll become,” Holder said on the eve of the first ODI in Antigua. “We had some new faces come out at the end of last year, in our series in Zimbabwe. I thought we had a pretty decent series but one of the major factors that hurt us was inexperience.
“We’ve a very inexperienced side. It’s a relatively young team. But we’re looking to make a mark on the international circuit.”
The key thing, Holder says, is to look forward. So there can be no dwelling on the success of the World T20 or the fact that many of the region’s best-known players have been deemed ineligible due to the WICB selection criteria.
“The World T20 has gone,” Holder said. “We’ve celebrated that. It was a wonderful achievement a while back now. So it’s important for us to move on. Not to dwell on it – not forget it – but to move on and understand we need to improve our position in the ODI rankings and Test cricket. We need to qualify for the World Cup, that that is our goal.
“This feels like a clean slate. We’ve quite a few changes in our administrative part and we have to get accustomed to the new coach, director of cricket and CEO. But it’s important for us to just deal with cricket. That’s the only thing we can control.
“It’s a new year. We just came off our domestic competition. Everybody is raring to go. I’m happy with the side I have right now.”
While West Indies may adopt a slightly old-school approach to ODI cricket – Kraigg Brathwaite will be expected to provide the anchor role in batting though the 50-overs, with others attacking around him – Holder feels his team also offers aggressive, exciting players who could become well-known over the next few years.
“Shai Hope came off a very good tour in Zimbabwe and followed up starting the year well in our domestic competition,” Holder said. “We’ve got young exciting cricketers like Rovman Powell and Jason Mohammed. From the fast-bowling point, there’s Shannon Gabriel and Alzarri Joseph. So we’ve an inexperienced side but we’re looking to make a mark on the international circuit.
“They’re ranked higher than us. We’ve got some way to go in terms of catching up in the rankings. We just want to tick off our process boxes in terms of what we set out to achieve as a group. Our main thing is to be a lot more consistent than we have been in the past and I think once we do that we can be moving in the right direction.”