West Indies skipper Jason Holder unfazed by criticism towards team following Rajkot thrashing

Sudhir Gupta 11/10/2018
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Defiant in the wake of criticism: Jason Holder.

The criticisms levelled against the West Indies side following their defeat by an innings and 272 runs in the first Test against India has not gone down too well with skipper Jason Holder.

The Windies all-rounder had to sit out of the clash at Rajkot after sustaining an injury and remains a doubt for the second Test which gets underway on October 12 at Hyderabad.

Holder pointed to West Indies’ dismal record of late in India as he sought to defend his side’s display in Rajkot.

“We are playing the No1 team, India, in their backyard. And history would show we haven’t won a Test match here since 1994 and if you look at the players who came through West Indies cricket I think Brian Lara and these greats have been playing all that time,” the Windies skipper was quoted as saying by the Press Trust of India.

“Again, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just focus primarily on what I have to do and what the team has to do. There’s no point worrying about what people have to say because people will always have to say,” he added.

Holder is backing his men to bounce back from disappointment.

Holder is backing his men to bounce back from disappointment.

The 26-year-old also expressed his displeasure at the barbs thrown towards his side following their defeat at Rajkot.

“A lot has been said about this Test team in particular; things that I am not in agreement with. Because we have beaten top sides in the last two-three series we’ve played.

“We probably haven’t won as many series as we’d like. Within the last year, I think we’ve won two out of four or five series we’ve played. So I don’t understand why people would be this harsh towards us,” Holder explained.

The West Indies will be hoping their talismanic skipper can regain his fitness for the second Test as they seek to restore parity in the two-match series.

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Eoin Morgan hoping for better weather after rain washes out first Sri Lanka-England ODI

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Rain took its toll on the first ODI between Sri Lanka and England.

England captain Eoin Morgan was left crossing his fingers for kinder weather after the first one-day international against Sri Lanka was washed out in Dambulla.

Eyebrows have been raised at the decision to schedule the series before the end of the island’s rainy season – with tour operators in the region typically advising against holiday in October due to the weather.

One of the two scheduled warm-up games in Colombo last week was abandoned without a ball bowled and although initial forecasts were better for the series opener, just 15 overs were possible with England reaching 92 for two.

The extensive ground covers were summoned before the rain even arrived in a vain attempt to protect the pitch but after more than three hours of solid, heavy downpour the groundstaff’s salvage operation was rendered moot.

The sides will meet again at the same venue on Saturday, one of two fixtures in the five-match series to have the safety net of a reserve day.

“It’s extremely frustrating, especially when the umpires made a really good decision to get the covers on before the rain actually started,” said Morgan, who was 14 not out when the players left the field.

“When it rains here it just doesn’t stop for hours. They did their best but unfortunately when they were taking the covers off there was a lot of overflow and three or four areas of concern, that were very muddy.

Olly Stone was handed his maiden England cap by Darren Gough.

Olly Stone was handed his maiden England cap by Darren Gough.

“When it gets to that stage player safety is paramount and I think the umpires made the right call. I think it’s going to be that type of series. There was no rain forecast for today which is devastating, we are keen to get ourselves into the series and get going and playing but hopefully we will have a bit of luck along the way with the weather.”

Asked if he was party to the logic behind the England and Wales Cricket Board’s scheduling, Morgan replied “I haven’t a clue” but held out hope of better fortunes.

“No, I’m not worried, not at all. I’d hate to sound pessimistic,” he said.

“The two games where we have reserve days we’ll get some form of game in and let’s hope that the weather is okay. We did come here in 2014, a little bit later, but I remember the forecast being the same every day and we just managed to miss the rain.”

The day began with former England paceman Darren Gough presenting debutant Olly Stone with his cap, but the Warwickshire bowler was denied the chance to prove his international credentials.

“I know he’s itching to get out there, he’s very excited about getting out there and pulling the shirt on,” Morgan said.

“Olly offers something different, he bowls with a bit more pace than the guys we have at the moment.”

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Jason Holder confident that Chris Gayle will play in the 2019 World Cup

Sudhir Gupta 10/10/2018
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Gayle is being backed to play the 2019 ICC World Cup in England.

Chris Gayle shocked one and all by opting to decline selection for his side’s upcoming ODI series against India but skipper Jason Holder is backing the stalwart to turn out for the West Indies in the 2019 ICC World Cup in England.

The 39-year-old swashbuckling opener recently called time on his first-class career with a century for Jamaica in his final game. Holder, who is currently leading the Windies outfit in India, believes Gayle remains one of the most entertaining batsmen in world cricket currently.

“Chris is an all-star and I think it’s clear he’s probably at the back end of his career now. He’s probably tapering off a bit. I just saw him play his last List-A game for Jamaica, scoring a hundred against my home team, which is great to see. I enjoy having Chris around. I think he’s one of the most entertaining players in the world but his absence gives another player opportunity,” Holder was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.

“We have a limited time leading up to the World Cup and it’s a good option to see what we have in the tank, in terms of our pool of players, when one door closes another one opens and hopefully it’s an opportunity to see another young guy coming through,” the all-rounder added.

Gayle declined selection for the ODI series against India.

Gayle declined selection for the ODI series against India.

The World Cup might now only be eight months or so away but Holder is confident that Gayle will walk back into the ODI outfit once completely fit.

“He’s definitely going to play the World Cup once his body holds up and he’s fit. We’d welcome him into the team. If you go back to the beginning of the year, Chris made himself available for the World Cup Qualifiers,” said Holder.

“He only did that really because he wants to play the World Cup, he wants to play well for West Indies and he wants to do well.”

Gayle has so far played a whopping 284 ODIs for the West Indies, scoring 9,727 runs at an average of over 38 with the help of 23 tons.

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