Windies batsmen hungry for runs, says skipper Holder

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FILE: Jason Holder celebrates a wicket (Getty Images)

TAUNTON, England — West Indies captain Jason Holder admitted that there are batting concerns heading into today’s World Cup game against Bangladesh at the County Ground, home of Somerset Cricket Club.

So far no West Indian has scored a century at this tournament, and the form of the top order, outside of 23-year-old Nicholas Pooran, has been inconsistent.

Left-handers Evin Lewis and Darren Bravo have looked out of sorts recently, while star batsman Chris Gayle has got starts each time he has batted — with scores of 50, 21 and 36 — but will likely be disappointed he is yet to kick on to a three-figure score.

Shai Hope, in outstanding nick heading into the tournament, has been below his best. He scored 68 against Australia but was dismissed for 11 in his two other outings.

“Everybody is hungry for runs,” Holder told journalists after practice yesterday.

“I guess a few guys haven’t gone on and capitalised on a few starts they’ve got .“Some guys haven’t got any starts, so it’s another opportunity for them to come to the party and to get some confidence going into the back half of this tournament, starting tomorrow against Bangladesh,” said the West Indies skipper.

He said the left-hander Pooran, a former West Indies youth star, has shown composure beyond his years in 50-over cricket’s biggest stage.

“Pooran has been very good; I’m really pleased with his progress so far. He’s shown a lot of maturity, which is really good for a young player,” Holder said.

Pooran has been fluent during knocks of 34 not out, 40 and 63 and, according to Holder, the left-hand batsman is determined to achieve his maiden senior team hundred during this tournament.

“He’s got a quite a few shots in his locker and that’s really good to see from a young talent. I just want him to continue in the way he’s been going. For him, marking himself extremely hard he’d like a hundred so let’s hope tomorrow he steps up and carries it deeper,” Holder said. (Jamaica Observer)