West Indies captain Jason Holder was full of praise for middle-order batsman Jermaine Blackwood, whose knock of 95 provided the foundation for the West Indies four-wicket win against England in the first Test of the #Raisethebat series on Sunday.
When Blackwood arrived at the crease, for the time in the match, the Caribbean men were in danger of losing the Test, struggling at 27 for 3 in chase of 200. Opener Kraigg Brathwaite (4), Shamarh Brooks (0) and Shai Hope (9) were all back in the pavilion. John Campbell was there too, retired hurt after a Jofra Archer yorker struck his big toe.
Blackwood, having failed with the bat in the West Indies first innings set about redeeming himself mounting partnerships of 73 with Roston Chase (37) and 68 with Shane Dowrich (20) to put the West Indies in sight of victory.
He got out for 95 with the West Indies needing just 11 runs for victory. It was the highest individual score of the match.
Holder was effusive in his praise for the diminutive Jamaican for his big-game mentality that helped massively in securing the win for his side.
“Jermaine Blackwood, man. If I had 12 Jermaine Blackwoods, those are the kind of guys you want to step on to a cricket field with. These are team guys, through thick and thin. I’ve played lots of cricket with and lots of cricket against [him], we played all our youth cricket together and played a youth World Cup together, so I know the player,” Holder said.
“That’s why when things happen like how they did in the first innings, yeah, you’re disappointed, but you can’t put a player like that into his shell. So it’s more about trying to manage him and help him try to understand the different passages of play, where he can be a little bit more collective, where he needs to settle and hang in for a bit before going on the attack again. He is an attacking player, but it’s giving him that confidence and support.
“He’s a humble team man, I know when he crosses the line he’ll give it his all. Sometimes he feels as though he can carry everybody on his shoulders. He’s that confident of a player.” (Sportsmax)