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by Manuj Sharma Tuesday 15 September 2015
West Indies captain Jason Holder wants to put special focus on improving the standards of his team when they take on Sri Lanka in the two-match Test series which begins on 14th October.
As well as the two Test matches West Indies will also play three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals in their tour of Sri Lanka which lasts for 44 days.
Holder, who is one of the youngest players to lead West Indies, wants to make sure that every player in his team, knows what kind of standards they must adhere to.
“We need to set standards,” said Holder.
“The first thing we need to do is set a standard in the dressing room where we don’t fall below.”
Holder also revealed that he has had many discussions with the West Indies coach Phil Simmons about setting the benchmarks for the players in the squad.
“It (setting standards) is something I have had a lot of discussion with the coach about.
“It is important that we set this standard so guys know where we are at the moment, what is the benchmark and know that we just can’t fall below it.
“Once we do that and get players to buy into that theory, then moving forward it should be a lot easier.”
Over the last decade, West Indies cricket has been in steady decline, with the team currently positioned eighth in the International Cricket Council (ICC) Test rankings and ninth in the ODI rankings.
With only the top eight teams eligible to qualify for the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy, the ninth placed West Indies are set to miss out as they don't play any further ODIs before the 30th September cut-off date.
Admitting that their performances have not been up to the mark, Holder reckoned that if the players follow the standards set for them, it will be easier moving forward.
“In the past we have been a bit haywire and we’ve not been settled in a sense where we have a standard, and we have encountered a lot of hiccups here and there.
“I think once we can clarify the whole situation as to what is required as an international cricketer and we set the standard, it should be a lot easier going forward.”
Though Holder wants to improve the Test rankings of the team, he has placed importance of not falling below where they are currently perched.
“Obviously we would like steady progression but we can’t jump ahead of teams who are higher ranked than us unless we play higher-ranked sides in terms of the points system.
“If you look at your schedule, we have Sri Lanka, India in the new year (2016) and Australia end of year (2015).
“The thing is not to fall further down from where we are at this present point.
“You can jump hell of a lot further up the channel if you beat these teams which are ranked higher than you.”
Holder is confident that he will be able to get the team moving upwards once the players in the team are clear about the roles assigned to them.
“We need to instil consistency in the dressing room and get the guys understanding what is required of them in terms of roles, in terms of different scenarios which they might face in certain games.
“Myself and the coach have a pretty good idea of the direction we want to go in.
“I guess we will make a little tinker here and there as we go and make the progression.
“But I am sure once you do the right things, once you set things in terms of a good dressing room, then we can make that progression steadily upwards.”
In the nine Test matches West Indies have played in Sri Lanka since 1993, they have not managed to win even a single game, having drawn four and lost five.
© Cricket World 2015