‘We have shown that we can compete’ – Holder

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Pakistan v West Indies, 2nd Test, Abu Dhabi

Following their gritty fight in the second innings in Dubai, Jason Holder, the West Indies captain, has said his team is confident of dealing with Pakistan and their key bowler, legspinner Yasir Shah, at their “fortress” in Abu Dhabi. However, they would have to clean up their fielding and bowling going into this Test, he said, and readjust to playing in the daytime.

Jason Holder: 'We need to sharpen up on the mistakes we made in the field. And we should cut out on those no-balls as it cost us'(Photo: AFP)
Jason Holder: ‘We need to sharpen up on the mistakes we made in the field. And we should cut out on those no-balls as it cost us’ (Photo: AFP)

“We are obviously very confident as we played a very good Test match in Dubai and it was very competitive,” Holder said. “We had some great positives coming from that game and for me it is just to transfer it to this game. Abu Dhabi maybe a fortress for Pakistan but we have shown that we can compete in this series.

“They have heavily depended on Yasir Shah and I think we coped with him very well. He was not that effective even on a day-five pitch.”

Pakistan have not lost in any of the eight Tests they have played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, winning four of the games. For West Indies to challenge that record, as Holder said, they would have to improve on their catching in the first match, where eventual triple-centurion Azhar Ali was dropped on 17 and again on 190. No-balls were also an issue, particularly for fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, who overstepped 11 times in the game. Fellow pacer Miguel Cummins also bowled two no-balls, even getting a wicket off one – Babar Azam on four in the second innings; he eventually scored 21.

“We need to sharpen up on the mistakes we made in the field,” Holder said. “And we should cut out on those no-balls as it cost us. We need to improve on small areas in fielding and tighten up when we bowl, and stick to our plans for a lot longer.

“The wicket was very good, both sides struggled to get wickets with their seamers. Spinners dominated in the Test. In such a situation you [as a seamer] have to be very patient and accurate.”

The main readjustment with regards to going from a day-night Test to a day Test, Holder said, would relate to the players’ body clock and not the ball. “We are accustomed to the conditions. However, our body needs to get accustomed to the clock, from bowling in the night and the afternoon start. Now we have [to play] the whole day and it is a small adjustment. Playing red ball from pink will not need any major adjustment.” (ESPNcricinfo)

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