Holder in his post-match interview after the Windies defeat of South Africa commended his troops for their strategic move in the manning of their positions and the deadly force they employed in knocking out the ICC No. 4-ranked South Africa from the Tri-Nation Series competition.
He noted that a few of his men have suffered some minor injuries — Shannon Gabriel, a groin niggle, Denesh Ramdin, nursing shoulder pain, and himself, a tweaked hamstring.
“A lot of the guys have been struggling with some niggles and it’s just good to see the guys fight through it. We know the importance of this series and the importance of moving up the rankings. We’ve been criticized in the past for being stuck at No.7 and No.8. It’s important we keep making strides forward,” said Holder.
At the same time, he was quick to point out that all of his men will be ready to do battle against the number one ranked ICC World One-Day International Champion, Australia, come match day on Sunday.
He lauded his senior players for their frontal attack when needed most — Denesh Ramdin for his effort behind and before the stumps, Marlon Samuels with 92 and 125 against Australia, Darren Bravo with 102 against South Africa, Sunil Narine with eight wickets in the first two games, Kieron Pollard with a vital half-century in the knockout game against South Africa.
“All I can urge is that the guys stay together. If we can keep this core group of players together, maybe make one or two changes or additions as we go abroad on tours, but I think it’s important for West Indies cricket that we keep a core group of players together and move forward with these guys, identify who we want to take forward and hopefully get the backing of everybody around us and keep these guys together,” stated the captain.
He, however, bemoaned the fact that the start by the openers have been inconsistent and expressed the hope for a better performance in the final.
He also praised his bowlers for the excellent job that they have been doing and Shannon Gabriel in particular.
“Shannon is obviously a good addition to our attack. He’s very, very quick, he’s probably expected to be little more aggressive and use the pace that he has. He’s channeled it in the right direction in the last two games and we just hope he keeps improving,” Holder noted.
“He’s only in his second game [in ODIs] and he’s relatively new to Test cricket. It’s important for Shannon to keep improving, keep working on his game and hopefully, he’ll be around for a little while,” continued Holder.
He also added that “We come this far just no turning back right now, we just have to give it our all.”
Carol Maye, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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