West Indies captain Jason Holder has praised Kraigg Brathwaite for showing the qualities “we have been asking for in the dressing room” during his 142 off 318 balls, an innings in which he carried his bat and gave his team a 56-run lead in Sharjah.
Holder went on to take three wickets early in Pakistan’s second innings, and they were four down before they wiped out the deficit. He put that performance down to the motivation Brathwaite had given West Indies, and predicted that the opener would go on to play 100 Tests.
“He showed great character, great composure, great faith,” Holder said of Brathwaite. “It was very inspirational for me and gave me the energy to go and do what we did in the end.
“I have played a lot of cricket with Brathwaite – Under-13, 15, 17 and 19, and now senior cricket. He has scored a lot of runs in junior cricket. He has already played 30-odd Test matches and he has been the mainstay in terms of opening partnerships. I have no doubt in Braithwaite, who has shown the world what he can bring. If he can remain consistent, he will definitely play 100-plus Test matches.”
After Brathwaite secured the lead, Holder consolidated the advantage by taking out Sami Aslam, Asad Shafiq and Younis Khan inside the first 20 overs, reducing Pakistan to 41 for 3. They were ahead by only 31 at stumps, with six wickets in hand.
“We knew there’s just limited time in the last session, so we wanted to just give it our all,” Holder told Ten Sports. “Fortunately for me, I was able to get some balls to lift off a good length, which took the edge or the gloves. Fortunately, we had some luck in this session. I think we put ourselves in a good position because of this session.”
When asked about offspinner Roston Chase bowling 13 of the first 39 overs in Pakistan’s second innings, while Devendra Bishoo bowled only two, Holder said the legspinner had a big job to do on the fourth day.
“As the pitch wears out, Bishoo will come into the picture. He has a big job to do for us tomorrow,” Holder said. “The plan is to just keep rotating bowlers.
“It was important to be disciplined and get wickets, and not allow them to get away from us with the runs. Roston was outstanding in the first innings. He has done a tremendous job for us since he has come into the team, so we’ve given him that responsibility.”
Holder was concerned about the bounce in the pitch, but said that if it did not become variable, a target of around 200 was achievable.
“It’s important to keep them under pressure in the first hour. We just have to continue to maintain the intensity. We all have to really toil for the wickets. We are very happy with the situation but we need to start well tomorrow.” (ESPNCricinfo)