West Indies skipper, Jason Holder, is still the number-one Test all-rounder in the world even as his side is set to take on the might of India on Thursday.

Holder became the leading all-rounder in the five-day game last January after scoring an incredible double hundred against England before going on to take two wickets in a game the West Indies would win by 381 runs.

Among West Indies pacers, Holder is the highest ranked at eight, with Kemar Roach second at 11th.

Shannon Gabriel is ranked a place below Roach at number 12.

The Test-bowling rankings are led by Australia’a Pat Cummins, while South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada is second, followed by injured England paceman, Jimmy Anderson.

The West Indies are not as well off in the batting rankings, with opener Kraigg Brathwaite leading the way at 36th. Holder’s contribution with the bat comes next with the all rounder standing at 37th.

Roston Chase at 41, Shane Dowrich at 46, and Shimron Hetmyer at 48 are next.

Those ranking are led by India skipper Virat Kohli, while Australian Steve Smith comes next at second after his Lord’s heroics. New Zealand’s Kane Williamson is third.

Windies captain Jason Holder has bemoaned the team’s inability to take crucial chances following yet another loss to India in the second One Day International (ODI) at Queen’s Park Oval.

India took a 2-0 lead, on the back of a brilliant 114 from Virat Kohli, after securing a 6-wickets win via the DLS method on Tuesday.  Anchored by 72 from talisman Chris Gayle the Windies put up a competitive 240 and got off to a good start after dismissing Rohit Sharma with 25 runs on the board.

  Kohli, batting on 11, was surprised by a Keemo Paul with a delivery that went past him as he tried to make room to play on the leg side and caught an inside edge, he was, however, dropped behind by Shai Hope.

"We have got to hold our chances and we didn't hold them today. [Kohli] made us pay for it," Holder said.

"Credit to him he batted really well and he won the game for India in the end.  They got off to a really good start and so did we. I think it was a really, really good wicket for cricket. Conditions got a little tougher in the afternoon after the rain fell. The ball was a bit wet and the outfield was obviously very wet, too. It didn't work for us today."

While Windies skipper Jason Holder has voiced extreme disappointment after his side lost the second One Day International to India by 59 runs, the team’s coach believes the result is something to learn from.

“We had the game in our hand. We bowled well to come back in the end,” said Holder after his team restricted India to 279 despite Virat Kohli’s majestic 120 and Shreyas Iyer’s 71.

In response, the West Indies were coasting along at 179 for four when Nicholas Pooran (42), got out. Earlier, opener Evin Lewis had scored 65 to take the score to 148 for four, but there was an almost inexplicable collapse that cost the West Indies.

“The wickets in the end really cost us. We've got to take responsibility. One of the main things is when you get in, you've got to go deep. I must commend the bowlers. It was very hot and humid, tough conditions to bowl. We've definitely got to take responsibility and ownership as batters,” said Holder.

While in agreement with Holder, West Indies coach, Floyd Reifer, did not express the same disappointment as his skipper, saying the team was showing signs of improvement despite the poor results.

"It's not an uphill task. We're building ourselves again and when you're building your side you get speed bumps along the way. It's [about] how you bounce back from those speed bumps,” said Reifer.

“Very disappointed,” was Holder’s reaction and while Reifer hasn’t voiced the same sentiment, he did single out the batters for being too inconsistent.

"We got to continue to learn from this experience. Guys in the middle-order got to show a little bit more fight, a bit more grit and more determination to build those longer partnerships. Again, we were in front of the game today and we just found a way to give away our wickets. It's just a matter for us now to learn from our mistakes, dig deeper and work harder from the stressful positions we put ourselves in."

Windies One Day International (ODI) skipper Jason Holder has targeted batsmen going deep into the innings as crucial for success against in-form India when the three-match series bowls off on Thursday.

The two teams will enter the series at opposite ends of the spectrum, in terms of form and perhaps confidence.  India are fresh from a crushing T20 victory series over the Windies, while the regional team is still struggling to put together the pieces following a disastrous World Cup.

In addition, the Windies suffered 3-1 losses in their last two series against India.  Despite winning just a single game at the World Cup the Windies showed flashes of promise with individual batsmen getting starts but failing to deliver.

"Too many instances where we have gotten starts as individuals but never carried them deep into the innings, so that's one area we have pinpointed and once we've tackled that we have put ourselves in our very good position," he said ahead of the first ODI against India in Guyana.

"For me it's just a matter of remaining disciplined with the new ball, taking new-ball wickets and focus on their middle order and take the game from there," he added.

Windies bowling legend Curtly Ambrose admits he has an issue with a lack of aggression from current captain Jason Holder but believes the Barbadian remains the best man for the job.

The 27-year-old all-rounder has been in the post since 2015 but has come under heavy pressure in recent weeks, following a dismal performance for the team at ICC World Cup.  Managing just a single win, which came against Pakistan, the regional team finished ninth out of 10 teams.

While the outspoken Ambrose insisted that Holder needed to be more assertive in the post, the pace bowler pointed out that there was a lack of suitable replacements available.

“When you look at the resources it is a very short list so what are your options? You have Jason Holder, you got Craig Brathwaite who is his deputy and who are the others who lead or have led before? Hetmyer led the under-19s so maybe he is one to look at in the future once he can cement himself and get going but there is nobody really. The list is very short so we can’t just give a guy captaincy … because we need to be very careful. I think Jason should just continue for now and then we see what happens,” Ambrose told Antiguan radio show Good Morning Jojo.

“I think he has improved from when he started, so let’s be real, but my thing with Jason Holder is that I think is he may not be aggressive enough as a leader. I think he is a little too laid back because when you’re captain you’re a leader and people should recognize right away that he’s the leader. When you look at the West Indies team you’re not sure who the leader is, so Jason needs to, maybe, be more authoritative or just have some kind of presence so you know that he is the man in charge,” he said.

 

 

West Indies fast bowling legend Andy Roberts has blasted the captaincy of Jason Holder following a disappointing showing at the recently concluded ICC World Cup in England.

The regional team was tipped by a few pundits and fans to be capable of causing issues for the more fancied teams at the tournament but failed to live up to expectations. 

The same could be said for the 27-year-old Holder who headed into the tournament in a rich vein of form but failed to deliver a telling performance.  In his opinion, Roberts believes one of the biggest issues the team faced during the tournament was a lack of organisation and leadership.

“I don’t think too much of Jason Holder’s captaincy. He speaks well, but in terms of tactics on the field, I think he is found wanting and I don’t think he has the backroom staff. They weren’t experienced enough to help him so you have to look at a number of reasons why we did not go further in the tournament,” Roberts said in a radio interview.

“They had no plans because you had to have plan A, B, and then plan C; but their only plan was to bowl short and it showed throughout the entire tournament that they felt they could win based on the amount of – I can’t say fast bowlers – the amount of people they had with long run-ups and no head,” he added.

 

Legendary Windies captain Clive Lloyd has strongly cautioned against any effort to replace Jason Holder as leader of the current regional team.

The 27-year-old Barbadian native has been among those coming in for heavy criticism after a dismal showing from the Windies at the ICC World Cup. 

Holder, who was appointed to the post four years ago, has largely presided over a disappointing period for the team results-wise.  During that time the all-rounder, as captain, has won some 24 out of 83 matches and as the Windies slipped out of the world’s top 8 teams.  The scenario forced the team to qualify for the 2019 World Cup.  Despite the results, however, Lloyd who was a part of a team that appointed Holder does not believe he is entirely to blame.

“It’s not just Jason. The team has let him down. These young players must have more pride in whom they represent, not just blaming a captain who we were raving about two months ago when he led West Indies to a series victory against England,” Lloyd told the Barbados Nation News.

 

West Indies finished on a high with a win over Afghanistan, but Jason Holder acknowledged they must be more consistent after a poor Cricket World Cup.

The Windies had not tasted victory since their first match of the tournament against Pakistan, back on May 31, ending their long wait for further success with a 23-run triumph.

But it was not just the failure to pick up the required results that frustrated captain Holder, who felt performances as a whole were not consistently up to scratch.

"I think inconsistency let us down, we were just inconsistent in the three departments," he said in the post-match presentation.

"Our fielding has a lot to improve. Our bowlers had a really good outing - credit to each and every bowler who put up their hand whenever called up - but the batting was very inconsistent as well.

"Going forward, we need to be a lot more consistent."

Chris Gayle was playing in his final World Cup match and his captain paid tribute to the opening batsman.

"It's hard to see him playing his last World Cup game, but I just personally want to say congratulations to Chris," Holder said.

"He's been an outstanding stalwart of the game for West Indies cricket and he's done leaps and bounds for our cricket. I want to wish him all the best in all his endeavours."

While the Windies said goodbye to a great, Afghanistan captain Gulbadin Naib saw positives in the younger members of his squad, with 18-year-old Ikram Ali Khil making 86 in their unsuccessful run chase.

Gulbadin said: "Ali is a youngster, an under-19 boy, but he showed his class today - and we have a lot of talented youngsters back at home."

And Afghanistan's skipper hoped the team would be able to learn from the experience of a World Cup campaign in which they failed to collect a point.

"We want to come prepared in every department," he said. "Hopefully I can take a lot from this tournament, how you work on your team. I have learned a lot here."

It was like West Indies skipper Jason Holder was discovering a surprise gift, hearing the news Chris Gayle planned to play on after the World Cup. 

Angelo Mathews put his body on the line at The Riverside to turn the tide in Sri Lanka's thrilling Cricket World Cup win over West Indies, earning warm praise from captain Dimuth Karunaratne.

Having reduced the Windies to 84-4 in defence of their 338-6 in a dead rubber in Durham, Sri Lanka were given a major scare by Nicholas Pooran's defiant century.

His apparent one-man victory march was not halted until the 48th over, when Mathews bowled his first ball in ODIs since December 2017 and had Pooran caught behind.

With fitness concerns having kept him from bowling, it was a timely and heroic intervention from Mathews that did not go unnoticed by Karunaratne.

"Angelo put his hands up and said, 'okay I will bowl two overs'. He has that confidence. He did the job," said the Sri Lanka skipper after his side's 23-run triumph.

"I don't think he is going to bowl much more but if it is a crucial time he might bowl a couple of overs."

Avishka Fernando's maiden ODI century had laid the platform for Sri Lanka, whose exit from the competition was confirmed when hosts England beat India on Sunday.

Despite his side failing to reach the semi-finals, Karunaratne did not have a hard time finding the positives after Monday's result.

"To win any match is a great feeling," he said. "It gives us lots of confidence. All of the players are doing really well. That is what I was expecting as a captain."

In contrast, opposite number Jason Holder was left to reflect on a miserable campaign for the Windies, who have not tasted victory since thrashing Pakistan in their group-stage opener back in May.

This was their sixth defeat in eight outings, with only Afghanistan – who they face in their final game – faring worse.

"We have just got to be better," said Holder. "We've let some key moments slip in this World Cup.

"I thought their score was on par. Fernando batted well – showed us things get easier if you stay in. Pooran was excellent too.

"I thought we finished our bowling well, but our fielding let us down. We just want to play the perfect game next time."

Virat Kohli heaped praise on MS Dhoni after India inflicted a heavy defeat on West Indies at Old Trafford.

India's 125-run win all but confirmed a Cricket World Cup semi-final spot for Kohli's unbeaten side and ended West Indies' hopes of reaching the last four.

Captain Kohli was man of the match after a gritty 72 and Dhoni made useful runs. The wicketkeeper-batsman's unbeaten 56 contained two sixes in the final over of India's innings, while Hardik Pandya also scored 46.

The Caribbean side then folded with the bat, following India's 268-7 with a feeble 143 all out.

Kohli said: "We've just become number one as far as the rankings are concerned and, to be honest, we've been playing like that for a while now. I think the key is to continue the same way.

"Things haven't gone our way with the bat in the last two games but we've still found a way to win. That to me is a very pleasing thing and I'm happy I could contribute as well.

"Today, getting to 270 was crucial. I think Hardik played outstandingly well and MS finished very strongly.

"When those two play like that we always get to a winning total and on that kind of wicket 270 was always going to be a very, very difficult score to chase."

Speaking about Dhoni, Kohli said: "He knows what he wants to do out in the middle. He's won us so many games and the best thing about having someone like him is when you need that extra 15, 20 runs he knows exactly how to get them for the team.

"Keeping strike at the end and finishing off with two big sixes was something that gave us a lot of boosts as a team.

"His experience eight out of 10 times has come good for us. He's a legend of the game, we all know that, and he's doing a tremendous job for us and hopefully he can continue."

West Indies skipper Jason Holder said: "I thought the bowlers did a fantastic job and I couldn't really ask them for more, and the guys gave a really good effort in the field. I guess we just let ourselves down with the bat."

Holder believes that was a theme reflected throughout the World Cup, as he analysed where it went wrong for West Indies.

"We let ourselves down significantly," Holder said. "I don't think we seized the crucial moments in this tournament as well as we should have.

"I thought the bowlers had a reasonable campaign and everything we asked of them they came out and delivered.

"We didn't really support as well as we'd have liked in the field, in fact we let ourselves down tremendously in the field, and some of our batting was just too inconsistent."

West Indies skipper Jason Holder had high praises for his charges despite coming out on the losing end of another ICC World Cup game maybe they should have won. 

Kane Williamson conceded it felt "too close for comfort" for New Zealand after West Indies almost claimed a stunning World Cup win at Old Trafford.

An onslaught from Carlos Brathwaite saw the Windies number six clatter five sixes in his innings of 101, only to be caught a foot in from the boundary when going for another maximum that would have been a match-winning strike.

New Zealand's 291-8 looked plenty at one stage, but West Indies reached 286 thanks to Brathwaite's brutally brilliant showing.

Trent Boult held the catch to remove Brathwaite, earning praise from captain Williamson, whose carefully crafted 148 anchored New Zealand's innings.

"He's got very good hands," Williamson said of Boult having help his side move top of the standings.

"We put a few down and it wasn't our best fielding, but that made way for an outstanding finish and it was a little bit too close for comfort.

"Those sorts of games are great and we were fortunate to be on the right side of the result.

"It was a brilliant game but there's a lot of learning for us to take out of it."

West Indies are heading out of the tournament and captain Jason Holder said the team would play for pride in their remaining games.

Holder saw Chris Gayle make 87 at the top of their innings, but a middle-order collapse undid much of the early good work.

Brathwaite almost saved the day but was left forlorn on his knees out in the middle at the end.

Holder said at the post-match presentation: "It was a tough game at the very end, but I'm proud of the guys, especially Carlos, who had a good innings.

"Chris had a good knock that really set the tone for us. It's pretty tough but there are still a lot of positives."

New Zealand skipper Williamson was full of praise for the Windies, saying: "Some of the striking the West Indies boys are able to achieve is unrivalled so it does put your bowling under a bit of pressure."

After edging out South Africa in their previous match, New Zealand survived another close scrape and remain unbeaten at the World Cup.

Williamson said: "We've had a couple of really tight ones in the last two games against strong opposition.

"Both have gone down to the wire and it's nice that you end up on the right side of the result and can still reflect and try to make some improvements."

Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza called on his team to follow Shakib Al Hasan's "exceptional" contributions after a match-winning turn against West Indies.

Shakib made an unbeaten 124 - his second century in a row - as Bangladesh completed their highest ODI run chase and ran out resounding seven-wicket winners in Taunton.

Liton Das (94 not out) and Tamim Iqbal (48) also weighed in, but Mortaza acknowledged Shakib, who became the tournament's highest-scoring player on Monday, has been the Tigers' star of the Cricket World Cup so far.

Bangladesh are up to fifth in the standings with five points from as many matches and more performances like Shakib's could boost their chances of making the semi-finals.

"He has made it at this World Cup and delivered for the team," Mortaza said in the post-match presentation. "Every match he has come and brought something really exceptional.

"Hopefully he'll keep going and others will join him. In the last two matches, Mushy [Mushfiqur Rahim] has batted so well; today, Tamim and Soumya [Sarkar (29)] started batting so well."

For Shakib, another strong batting display was just reward for his own hard work and a call to move up to number three.

"It feels great - obviously to stay at the wicket until the end was the most satisfying thing," Shakib said. "I've been working on my batting for the past month and a half and it's been paying off.

"I know that if I bat at number three I'll get more opportunities, I'll get more time to bat. Sometimes, if I bat at number five, I'll come in at the 30th over or the 40th over, which is not ideal for me. So I wanted to bat up the order."

Asked about the prospect of another ton against Australia on Thursday, he replied: "I hope so. It'll be tough, especially playing against Australia, who are picking up their form. We have to bring our A-game."

The Windies were particularly disappointing with the ball but beaten skipper Jason Holder felt the problems started with a total of 321-8.

"We just didn't get enough runs," Holder said. "But having said that, I still think we could have been a lot more disciplined with the ball and we let ourselves down in the field as well.

"It was just a situation where we never got the momentum we probably should in the middle overs. We had too much to do at the back end.

"If you score 320 here, you've got to fight really hard in the field to defend it. We didn't get wickets and we let one or two chances slip."

Windies captain Jason Holder admits the form of middle order batsman Nicholas Pooran has a bit of fresh air, despite a few underwhelming performances by the team at the ICC World Cup so far.

The 23-year-old was one of the few bright sparks for the regional team in a crushing defeat against England last week.  In fact, Pooran scored his maiden half-century, with an impressive 63 from 78 balls, in an eight-wicket defeat.  His responsible partnership with Shimron Hetmyer, who scored 39 from 48, was a steadying factor for the Caribbean team who at one point seemed destined to make less than the 212 they eventually managed.

“Pooran has been really good.  I am pleased with his progress so far.  He has shown a lot of maturity, which is really good for a young player,” Holder said.

“He has got quite a few shots in his locker as well and that is really got to see from a young talent.  I just want him to continue the way that he has been going,” he added.

“If he were marking himself extremely hard, I am sure he would like a 100.  So, let’s hope tomorrow he steps up and carries it deeper.”

In three matches so far Pooran has scored 137 runs.  The West Indies will take on Bangladesh on Monday at Taunton County Ground. 

 

 

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