West Indies captain Jason Holder has said that his side has what it takes to win a Test match, but insisted they must not get complacent after winning only one match. Holder said he was a “proud” captain to pull off such a fight and beat Pakistan by five wickets in Sharjah.
West Indies, after being whitewashed in the ODI and T20I series, showed more resistance than most would have expected to finish the Test series 1-2.
“This is a very good group of guys,” Holder said after the fifth day’s play. “We showed glimpses that we can have what it takes to compete at this level. For us, it is just a matter of consistency. We must not get complacent, we have no reason to be complacent. One Test victory is by all means not enough. We have to stay hungry, and that is something I really believe we have in the group.”
West Indies tested Pakistan in phases in the entire Test series; they nearly won the Dubai Test and put on a late fight in Abu Dhabi too. The third Test saw Holder’s men find gaps in Pakistan’s complacency and carelessness, and went on to win without any troubles on the last day. “My message is simple; stay with us and keep supporting us,” Holder said. “One Test match victory doesn’t make us a world beating side, but we have showed people that we can do it. We have what it takes.
“We have competed with Pakistan throughout this series. We fell short in Dubai, were outplayed in Abu Dhabi, but to finish the last Test on the winning side is a wonderful feeling. For the fans back home, and West Indies fans in general, just keep supporting us, keeping giving us that love, and hopefully this team can turn things around for West Indies. It was extremely important, especially after the Dubai Test match, where many people felt we could have won the game.
“We personally felt we could have won the game as well, but we didn’t get across the line. To come here in this last Test match, and put ourselves in the position to win, and actually get across the line, is a great feeling. We have the ability to win Test matches, it is just about stringing together the complete game. If I could sum up my feelings in one word now, I’d say ‘proud’. Proud of the character the guys showed, proud of the fight they showed.”
Winning two Tests was not as easy for Pakistan as they had to overcome resilience by West Indies. Darren Bravo’s century in Dubai gave Pakistan a scare and Devendra Bishoo frequently tested Pakistan’s batsmen to finish as the second-highest wicket-taker in the series, taking 18 wickets at an average of 27. His strike rate of 45 was better than Yasir Shah’s 55, who was the top wicket-taker with 21 scalps.
Another positive for West Indies was opener Kraigg Brathwaite, who became the first opener to stay unbeaten in both innings of a Test, in Sharjah. He carried his bat in the first innings for his 142, and then scored an unbeaten 60 in the second innings to see the side through successfully. “He is young; everyone is looking to make their mark on the international circuit,” Holder said in Brathwaite’s praise. “Everybody is hungry for success, and one thing I have really enjoyed on this trip is the fact everybody is happy for each other’s success. We just need to string together consistent performances over an extended period of time. If we can do that, we will get back on the right track, to take West Indies cricket back up to the top.
“The negative things around West Indies cricket are beyond my control. I can’t control who signs contracts, I can’t control who is here with me. All I can control is my destiny on the cricket pitch when I step over that line. That goes for everybody in that dressing room. As players, we just have to be responsible for our own individual actions, take our personal pride onto the field, and play good cricket.” (ESPNcricinfo)
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo’s Pakistan correspondent.