Former Barbados and West Indies opener Philo Wallace is not supportive of Jason Holder’s elevation to the Test captaincy at this juncture.
While Holder’s appointment has received approval from cricketing greats Brian Lara and Sir Vivian Richards, Wallace said it was too early to give him such a responsibility.
“Jason has a tremendous amount to offer West Indies cricket but we must be careful that we don’t push him too soon, which I think is what is happening here,” Wallace said.
“He has not led Barbados in the PCL (Professional Cricket League) and to give him captaincy in the longer format without the experience is too much at this stage in my opinion.
“When you look at the Barbados set up, Kraigg Brathwaite is the captain of the team in the PCL. He is the captain of the Barbados team in the longer format, Jason plays under him and now he will play under Jason in the Test team. This puts the Barbados Cricket Association in a very interesting position and they will now have to decide whether they continue with Brathwaite as captain or remove him and put Holder.”
Sir Vivian disagreed, however, and said the allrounder had the ability and was not too young for the job. Richards’ endorsement came days after Lara also approved of the new West Indies captain, who replaced Denesh Ramdin in the job.
“Well, I have heard maybe that some folks are suggesting that he is too young, but it is better to start at that particular age,” Richards said. “And if he gets lucky enough and we are successful, you have a long successful period of your captain being in place rather than the chopping and changing on a regular basis.”
Holder, 23, is West Indies second youngest Test captain, and has led the ODI side in 12 matches. He showed resilience by scoring a hundred to draw a Test against England in Antigua, and then made a counter-attacking 82 against Australia in Jamaica.
“I believe this individual does have the ability,” Richards said. “Certainly, he comes over very well and you hear about the respect factor you get from other members of the dressing room and that is of vital importance because when you have that respect, it is amazing.
“When you look and see what’s around him, when you look and see how he would have gone about his business as a batsman, you can see there is some improvement… but certainly the signs are there and I think may be it’s not a bad choice.”
Holder’s first series in charge of West Indies’ Test team will be the tour of Sri Lanka, where they play two Tests, three ODIs and two T20Is in October and November.