Visitors' fielding coach Nic Pothas has revealed that the West Indies skipper Jason Holder was actually carrying his ankle injury from the team's pre-series training camp in Dubai and hence, had to miss out from the all-important first Test against India at Rajkot.
The tourists went and trained in Dubai for a week before coming to India and that is where, Holder sustained the most untimely injury. The West Indies not only came into the first game of the two-Test series without his leadership qualities but also bereft of the all-round skills he possesses.
“I am not in a position to discuss Jason’s injury but he felt something in Dubai in our pre-season camp." Pothas was quoted saying, "Obviously, it has not settled down as much as he or the medical staff would have liked. He will be monitored on a daily basis and we will wait and see how that pans out,"
He further said, "But more importantly on the day (Day One) itself, I think we could have probably started the day a little bit better and having said that Prithvi (Shaw) played really well early on," and added, "we probably did not execute as well as we would have liked on the plans but we dragged the game back very well,"
In absence of both Kemar Roach and Jason Holder, the West Indies attack looked as toothless as it could get but Shannon Gabriel challenged the Indian batsman to some extent.
Praising him for his efforts, Pothas said, “Shannon has had a fantastic year, through the series against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka he bowled quick. But we know that Shannon Gabriel can bowl quick, but the most exciting part for me was at the back end of the day he was still getting it up to 145 kilometres an hour, towards the end of a very hot day on a pretty docile wicket,”
Pothas also talked about the young Prithvi Shaw, who scored a hundred on debut and expressed his appreciation, saying, "He is obviously a very exciting prospect for the future. But I think it would be a mess of me to make a judgement call on a very good young cricketer having seen him play only once. But certainly on today’s performance, hats off to him."
In conclusion, Pothas defended Braithwaite for his captaincy on Day 1 and reflected on the game situation. He said, “You getting a spinner coming on in the first innings in the first day of the Test match is pretty new. He is not going to be spinning it past the outside edge of the bat. You put two batters in who were scoring pretty freely, it is a game of chess. You do not want the game to run away from you early in a Test match."
“I thought Kraigg did fantastically well today. I think I have also learnt having played against India a lot, Virat (Kohli) would do something pretty similar. It is tough conditions and what you do not want is to have a day that goes in excess of 400 or 420 because you keep fielders in attacking positions for too long,” and signed off.
(Inputs from PTI)