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Holder Not Interested in History as West Indies Focus on Bangladesh Challenge

Jason Holder is willing to embrace the tag of underdogs in West Indies’ crucial World Cup clash with Bangladesh - but insists past encounters pale in significance in terms of what is to follow.

Level on points in mid-table after four games apiece, West Indies and Bangladesh go head-to-head at the County Ground in Taunton on Monday hoping to deliver a potentially fatal blow to their rivals’ chances of progression.

Victory is close to imperative, but a recent glimpse at the history books makes for grim reading for the Men in Maroon; Bangladesh emerging triumphant in seven of their last nine meetings, including last month’s Tri-Nation Series in Ireland.

An uphill struggle could well await, however, Holder is hoping the pressure environment of an ICC Cricket World Cup can level the playing field for his exciting team.

“If you want to put us in the underdog category, fair enough,” he said.

“We’ve played them quite a bit in the past and they’ve got the better of us, but it’s a different occasion and there’s lots at stake, so we’re all up for it.

“I don’t think there are any easy teams in this World Cup. We’re mid-table with five games left and the ball is in our court. We’ve got to play some consistent cricket going into the back half of the tournament.

“It’s quite a good stage to pick up some momentum. It’s a challenge against Bangladesh, so we just want to get over them and move forward.”
Bowled out for a meagre 212 against England last time out, Holder has been at pains to stress the importance of more careful batting from his powerful group of hitters.

Praise was reserved, however, for youngster Nicholas Pooran, who has belied his tender years with mature knocks of 63 and 40 in his last two World Cup innings.

“Everyone is hungry for runs,” Holder added. “I guess a few guys haven’t gone on and capitalised on starts and some haven’t got any starts. It’s another opportunity against Bangladesh to get some momentum.

“Pooran has been really good. I’m very pleased with his progress so far, he’s shown a lot of maturity and has a lot of shots in his locker.

“I guess, for him, marking himself really harsh, he’d like a hundred. Let’s hope he steps up tomorrow and carries it deeper."

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