Ahead of the first Test against India, West Indies skipper Jason Holder has said that his troops can compete against the world number one side like it has done against other top teams in recent times.
West Indies had registered a memorable Test victory against England at Leeds in 2017 and has performed decently in red-ball cricket this year. Holder and company have played a drawn series against Sri Lanka at home before recording a thumping 2-0 victory over the visiting Bangladesh side.
“It is a great challenge and everyone is up for it. We have pushed top teams in the last few years. This group has shown what they can do. We are just focus on playing good cricket and would not like to be drawn in personal battles,” Holder told reporters on the eve of the first Test.
The current West Indies side has a very little idea of playing in India, with only five members of the 15-man squad featuring in a Test in the country. However, Holder and his men are quite clear with their game plans having spent a week in Dubai before playing a two-day warm-up in Baroda.
“Patience plays a massive role in India. We need to stick to games plans and not get into one on one battles. We have discussed how we are going to score runs against their quality attack. One of the things I spoke about was patience, capitalising on every opportunity to score. Not be reckless at the same time but have a clear game plan to score,” the Windies skipper added.
The visitors has been hit by the absence of speedster Kemar Roach in the series opener at Rajkot. Roach had to rush back home following the death of his grandmother. The pitch has a bit of grass covering and Holder is not complaining.
“It (pitch) was covered when I came today but there seems to be a bit of grass. The practice facilities are brilliant in Gujarat. But like I said cricket is played on the day. It is about executing your plans,” Holder asserted.
The growth of Twenty20 cricket all across the globe has seen a lot of West Indian players becoming freelancers. The prospect of earning huge bucks in a short span of time has forced the cricketers to be more inclined towards the shortest format. In the current setup, however, there are many who rate Test cricket as the pinnacle of the game.
“Funny you have asked me that question. Couple of days ago I was just chatting around in the dressing room. I highlighted how much of a joy and pride I feel in playing Tests. I love all formats but Test is my favourite,” Holder remarked.
“It was shocking to know that most, if not everyone, said that they want to be successful Test players. Even during CPL T20, you see young players showing eagerness to play Test cricket. There is often talk about Test cricket dying but if youngsters coming in the Caribbean are looking forward to play Tests, the format will stay for a long long time,” he concluded.
(With PTI inputs)