PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Captain Jason Holder has urged his players of the need to “take ownership” for getting West Indies over the line, after the Caribbean side slumped to a six-wicket defeat to India in the third One-Day International on Wednesday.
West Indies posted a competitive 240 for seven in a contest at Queen’s Park Oval reduced to 35 overs per side due to a three-hour rain break.
However, after reducing India to 92 for three in the 13th over, they failed to take advantage of the position and the visitors recovered to comfortably reach their revised target of 255 with 15 balls remaining.
“You can say that for the entire series, from the T20s straight here to the last ODI,” Holder said, ruing his side’s continued inability to capitalise on strong positions.
“We’ve played some pretty decent cricket in patches and it’s just a matter of us to bring it together, more often than not. That’s where we’ve fallen down in the past and continue to let ourselves down.”
He added: “We’ve just got to find ways. I think it’s a situation once we convert once, guys will be able to understand it more and be able to do it more often than not. We just have to get across that hurdle.
“It’s a situation where we haven’t gotten across that hurdle in a long while in terms of seizing those crucial moments in games. We have to sit down and take ownership.”
West Indies appeared to have done enough when Chris Gayle lashed an entertaining 72 off 41 balls to underpin their innings, after they won the toss and chose to bat. He put on a swift 115 off 65 balls for the first wicket with fellow left-hander Evin Lewis whose 43 came from 29 balls.
India captain Virat Kohli then spearheaded his side’s run chase with an unbeaten 114 – his second successive ODI hundred and 43rd of his career – while Shreyas Iyer, in only his ninth ODI, made a crucial 65.
Kohli was dropped on 11 by wicketkeeper Shai Hope off seamer Keemo Paul, a chance which proved costly.
“I felt we were always in the game [at the half-way stage]. We didn’t execute as well as we would’ve liked to [during India’s run chase],” lamented Holder.
“We’ve got to hold our chances, we didn’t hold them [on Wednesday] and he (Kohli) made us pay for it. Credit to him, he batted really well and he won the game for India in the end.”
Holder said Gayle and Lewis had been among the bright spots for West Indies despite the defeat, while the bowling had been disappointing in Wednesday’s outing.
“There were lots of positives. The way Chris played … Evin Lewis showing a lot of form too. I thought the bowlers had a reasonable time too, in the last game we bowled really, really well. [Yesterday] we were probably off a little bit but generally I think the bowling has led us in the last couple games.
“As I keep saying, it’s a matter for us to really seize the key moments in the games and play those key moments a little bit better than we have in the past.”
Holder said much of the ongoing challenges being experienced could be traced back to the regional first class level.
“There’s a lot of work still left to be done. At the level below there’s still a lot of work left to be done there in terms of getting players to understand the context of cricket and where world cricket is going,” he contended.
“If you look at our scores in regional cricket, they’re still not up to par to where the world standard is. We have to take a closer look at the level below and try to get guys into the modern day format of cricket.”