Holder rues poor shot selection

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West Indies v India, 5th ODI, Kingston

West Indies captain Jason Holder has rued the batsmen’s failure to build on a “pretty decent start”, expressing concern about their shot selection after the eight-wicket loss to India, which sealed a 3-1 series defeat.

On a seemingly batting-friendly surface, West Indies stuttered to 205 for 9 and did not see a single 50-plus partnership.

Though Kyle Hope scored 46 off 50 balls and his brother Shai made 51 off 98 balls, the rest of the line-up struggled, particularly against India’s spinners. Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav and Kedar Jadhav gave away only 76 runs in 24 overs to set up a straightforward chase.

“We had a pretty decent start, but we didn’t carry on,” Holder said after the match. “The openers gave a reasonable start. We didn’t get a momentum to press on. I felt the par score was 270 here.”

West Indies had a chance to recover so long as Holder was at the crease. He came in at 115 for 4 and took the spinners on, slogging Jadeja, reverse-sweeping Kuldeep and driving Mohammed Shami inside out over cover. But two balls later, he was caught at long-on looking to for another boundary. At that point, the hosts still had 10 overs left to bat.

“I got out too early and I should have batted. I would say I did not rotate the strike well,” he said. “We were not able to keep our wickets intact. We lost wickets every time we seemed to be gathering momentum. I can’t put it on to the pitch; it’s just poor selection of shots. A few of our batsmen got some big overs and pushed the game deeper.”

West Indies haven’t had a series win in 10 tries and in the last five years, and among Full Members, their average of 27.28 and run-rate of 5.11 are only better than Afghanistan, Ireland and Zimbabwe.

Holder called for better application before their ODI series against England in September. “We should find ways to rotate the strike properly. We have got a month or two before our ODI series in England, we should go back and work on our games and enhance it before we start.”

It was the bowlers who handed them their only win in the series, in the fourth ODI when they bundled India out for 178. “The entire series they have been putting their best. They should be given credit,” Holder said. “To bowl the way we’ve done in this entire series against a quality batting line-up showed a lot of maturity.”

Holder also praised Shai Hope, who scored a cautious half-century and put on a 48-run stand for the fifth wicket with him. “When a world-class batsman like Virat Kohli bats he makes sure he takes them to a winning position. That’s the only thing I encourage Shai to do. He’s been consistent with the bat and he’s gone on to some really good positions but it’s about carrying it as deep as possible and come out with a 100 not out like Virat showed today.” (ESPNCricinfo)

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