Following West Indies’ loss at the hands of Pakistan in the first of the four-match T20I series on Sunday (March 26) in Barbados, all-rounder Jason Holder expressed his disappointment about his side’s poor start to the series and felt that it was the presence of a few new faces in the opposition camp that left them puzzled.
The 18-year-old legspinner Shadab Khan, who made his debut in the opening game, scalped three while conceding only seven runs in his full spell to restrict West Indies to 111 for 8 in their 20 overs. The tourists chased down the total with relative ease, losing only four wickets in the process with almost three overs to spare. Holder was quick to admit that his side would need to come up with plans to negate the impact of the new players.
“We need to just sit down and work out our plans against all their bowlers,” Holder said after the six-wicket loss. “Obviously we are coming up against some guys who we have never played. In this situation, we need to find how best to play them given the conditions that we have.
“We struggled with their slow bowlers, and it’s a situation where we need to counteract their slow bowlers in the middle. Those were the guys who really put the strangle on us up front.”
On a wicket that was slow and deteriorated a little earlier than Holder had expected, the all-rounder still believed that his side should have got to 150, attributing the loss to poor batting. “I felt that the wicket we had today was slow, it was a little bit more difficult to hit on. It broke up a little earlier than I thought it would, but bearing that in mind, we just needed to find ways to knock some balls back down the pitch,” Holder said. “It was a good enough pitch for us to get 150 at least. Definitely think if we had 150 on the board it would’ve been a much better game,” he added.
The West Indian opener Evin Lewis was the first to depart, with Ahmed Shehzad effecting a direct hit from wide long on to catch the left-hander short of his ground while looking for the second. The hosts lost a slew of wickets from there and never recovered to get back in the game.
“It’s clear we didn’t bat well. We started off with a run-out, which gave them momentum. It was a very good piece of fielding, but we never really recovered from there. It was a situation in the middle where we had to consolidate, build a partnership,” Holder lamented.
“We tried to do that with Sunil [Narine] and [Kieron] Pollard, probably our last recognised partnership, and Carlos [Brathwaite] came in and joined Pollard and played a good knock, but we were always struggling with wickets. We lost wickets at crucial stages and we could never lay a platform from where we could blast,” he added.