Captain of the West Indies Jason Holder is backing his fast bowlers to be a thorn in England’s side during the upcoming three-match Test series that starts at Kensington Oval later this month.
But he wants runs, runs and more runs from his batsmen to do it.
“I just think it is a matter for us to put it together a little more consistently, particularly in our batting. We have shown that we can beat and compete against the top teams in the world. I just think it is a matter for us to be a lot more consistent particularly in our batting. We have fallen short there a couple of times. If we put some runs on the board, I back our bowling attack to bowl out England,” Holder told journalists at Kensington Oval this morning.
“Our bowling attack has not been too bad at all. I saw statistics that indicated our pace attack was the best in world cricket during 2018 which speaks volumes for our bowlers. We have obviously Shannon Gabriel and Kemar (Roach) who have done it day in and out for us, they are pretty experienced and have been around long enough to have an impact on the Test circuit. It is just a matter of the youngsters coming in to feed off of us and hopefully get their feet on the ground and hit it running in terms of Test cricket,” the captain added.
Holder said he was looking forward to the series that he described as a big occasion in the context of West Indies cricket.
“The last time we played against England in the Caribbean, it was a hard well-fought series and we came out with a draw in the end. There was massive support both from the West Indies and English fans. I expect something of a similar nature this year and hopefully we can lift the Wisden Trophy,” Holder said.
The skipper said he was extremely eager to play against England. “Obviously, it is a wonderful opportunity to play against one of the top teams in the world, they are just coming off a really good series win against Sri Lanka. We played Sri Lanka in our last home series and performed reasonably against them. I am really looking forward to the challenge against one of the better teams in Test cricket around the world on our home turf.”
Holder, who underwent rehabilitation in England for an injury to his shoulder that caused him to missed the Test and One Day International series in Bangladesh late last year, had the opportunity to test his shoulder for the first time in eight weeks when Barbados played against Guyana in Cricket West Indies Championship last weekend.
“I felt pretty good in the match against Guyana, l am not a hundred percent as yet but hopefully I will be there by the 23 of January. I did not feel any niggles from the injury during the match. I felt my body held up pretty well. I will keep strengthening and building my body and keep it as active as possible. I was away from the game for a long time and one can expect some stiffness after not playing for a while, so I am negotiating that and keeping pressing forward,” Holder said.
He stated it was always very special for him to play cricket at Kensington Oval. “Obviously, this being my home ground, it is always a ground that you get good support from people who you love and who love you. It is an extra special feeling to be playing at Kensington. There are quite a few Barbadians as well in the Test group and I am sure they feel the same way too. Be that as it may, when the question is posed to most of players from around the region to name the ground they like to play at, most of them say Kensington Oval because of the atmosphere, and the avid cricket fans we have here.”
Holder who was at the ticket office for a meet and greet session with fans that also included taking pictures with locals and visitors said it was great to be interacting with the fans.
“I am very happy to be spending some time with the fans, people who support you day in and day out, and get to hear how they feel. They are many cricket experts in the region and it is good to hear a few things that some of them have to say, interact with them and keep them happy,” a smiling Holder said.