Holder calls for im­prove­ments

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS -

HARARE, Zim­babwe, (CMC): APTAIN JA­SON Holder hopes the key ar­eas ad­dressed dur­ing the re­cent one-week camp in South Africa will see West In­dies turn the page on their dodgy One-Day In­ter­na­tional form in the Tri-Na­tions Se­ries here, which bowled off yes­ter­day.

West In­dies were swept 3-0 by Pak­istan last month and have now lost 12 of their last 16 games in the last four bi­lat­eral se­ries. They were good enough to reach the fi­nal of the Tri-Na­tions Se­ries against Aus­tralia and South Africa in the Caribbean ear­lier this year, but lost to the Aussies.

“I think it is a sit­u­a­tion where we need to come to­gether as a team. We’ve strug­gled in the last few one-day se­ries in terms of batting the 50 overs and that is one area we have ad­dressed,” Holder said ahead of his side’s first game to­mor­row.

“In terms of the bowl­ing, we need to be a lot bet­ter in the first power play, and then

Cwe have to close in the last 10 overs. Those are the sig­nif­i­cant ar­eas we have paid some at­ten­tion to. “I think once we do that and we string some big part­ner­ships [to­gether]. In the past, I think we have found our­selves get­ting a lot of starts but not car­ry­ing on – we leave less for the mid­dle and lower or­der to do.”

West In­dies open their cam­paign against Sri Lanka be­fore tak­ing on the hosts on Satur­day in their sec­ond out­ing.

LAST YEAR’S MATCH

Last year, the Caribbean side suf­fered a 3-0 white­wash away to the Sri Lankans, and Holder said they were ex­pect­ing a strong chal­lenge from them again, along with a tough show­ing from Zim­babwe.

“It’s go­ing to be tough. Ob­vi­ously, they are two good teams. Sri Lanka play good cricket, and, ob­vi­ously, are of a higher rank than us, and Zim­babwe have a point to prove,” the all-rounder ex­plained.

“They are play­ing in their back­yard as well, so they will be [fa­mil­iar] with their con­di­tions. It’s a sit­u­a­tion where we have to as­sess as early as pos­si­ble and go out and play some good ag­gres­sive cricket.”

West In­dies en­dured a long dif­fi­cult tour of the United Arab Emi­rates re­cently, where they were trounced in the Twenty20, one­day and Test se­ries by Pak­istan.

Their only success came in the fi­nal Test in Shar­jah when they pro­duced an ad­mirable per­for­mance to win by five wick­ets.

Holder said the camp in Potchef­stroom had been a great chance for the unit to re-as­sess.

“We had a good week in Potchef­stroom. I thought the guys had a few days off to catch them­selves and re­cu­per­ate af­ter the long se­ries in Dubai,” he said.

“It’s just a sit­u­a­tion where we got what we wanted out of the train­ing camp and mov­ing into the [Tri-Na­tions Se­ries]. I think we are much bet­ter pre­pared.”

WICB ME­DIA

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