Holder Hails AB de Villiers, Confident Of Comeback
West Indies captain Jason Holder lavished praise on AB de Villiers but insisted that his team weren't on the backfoot despite the heavy defeat to South Africa on Friday.
Holder felt that West Indies were well and truly in the game before de Villiers’s master-class innings took centre-stage.
“Yeah AB played a very good innings today.
“I thought we were well in the game when he came to the crease but he was his normal exceptional self, credit to him.
“He played well and took the game from us again.
“He scores all around the ground and once he gains momentum, he is very difficult to stop.”
The 23-year-old further stated that the West Indian bowlers had tried all that they could, but were just unable to stop the free flowing de Villiers who put away even the good deliveries over the ropes.
“We tried to bowl yorkers but he wouldn’t let them land, creating room which most batsmen wouldn’t.
“Let’s give him credit. When he came to the crease, the platform was set for him and he was his free self, we couldn’t stop him.”
When asked about why Chris Gayle, who took two wickets during the middle overs, wasn’t tried later on during the innings, Holder replied that the idea was to unsettle the newer batsmen which didn’t quite work.
“We had Gayle bowling well before the powerplay but then he isn’t our powerplay option as such though he was bowling well.
“We felt that it would be better to bring back a strike bowler with two relatively new batsmen at the crease.”
After the upset defeat to Ireland in their World Cup opener, this heavy defeat puts immense pressure on West Indies but Holder seemed unfazed by it.
“I wouldn’t say it puts us on the backfoot.
“We still have two games left. We just have to take it one game at a time.
“We have to deal with India next at Perth.
“We’re going to be aggressive and going to play our normal style of cricket.
“We obviously have areas to improve upon in terms of our death bowling and I feel we can get in more dot balls in the middle overs.”
After posting 300-plus totals in three successive games, the West Indies batting fell apart on Friday for the first time in the tournament, but Holder insisted not to read too much into it, terming it as an "off-day" for his batsmen.
“We’re still a force to reckon with in this competition.
“Today was just the first off-day with the bat.
“We had to chase 408 runs and so initially had to go hard but unfortunately we just didn’t get any momentum going.”
Holder admitted that the only way to stop de Villiers in that mood was to get him at the non-striker’s end and bowl at the other batsman.
“At that stage, I just tried to get him off-strike you know.
“He was obviously in full flow and we were trying to bowl more at Behardien and get him off strike.”
“The dropped chance off my bowling did not help and the dropped chance off Russell’s bowling did not help.
“If you take away my last two overs where AB really took me apart, I think it would’ve been a different story.
“During such situations, we just need to see if we can bowl straight if we can’t get him out and hold on to our chances but we didn’t hold on to the chances.”
Holder also lamented on the difficulties posed by the rule of having just four fielders outside the ring, stating that it became difficult to contain batsmen on good batting tracks.
“It’s a tough task you know obviously with just 4 fielders outside the ring.
“It’s very tough to contain players.
“I also thought that the wicket was a very good batting track and if you didn’t hit your straps, you’d be travelling all around the park.
“It’s difficult to work it out with just 4 fielders outside the circle.”
Holder had a decent start to the match with the ball but ended horribly with de Villiers plundering 64 off his final two overs as the West Indies captain conceded 104 off his overall 10.
Despite the battering received with the ball Holder showed some resistance with the bat notching up a fifty, though the game had well and truly slipped away by then.
“I’m pretty good with my game at the moment.
“I think if I analyze my bowling today, it was just one player who took me apart in a sense and it happens.
“I’d try to figure out what better I can do and with my batting, we had nothing to lose at that stage and was looking at the net run rate.
“I was struggling with a bit of cramp and was looking to be positive.
“I just felt that I had to fight it out and put some runs for the team.”
West Indies have a week’s break before they face defending champions India on 6th March at Perth.
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