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We will push to draw the series - Jason Holder

We will push to draw the series - Jason Holder
Jason Holder asserted that West Indies will be keen to press for a win in the second game in Colombo after suffering an innings defeat in the first Test in Galle.
©REUTERS / Action Images

West Indies captain Jason Holder asserted that his side will be keen to press for a win in the second game in Colombo after suffering an innings defeat in the first Test against Sri Lanka in Galle.

Having allowed Sri Lanka to score 484 runs on the back of a few dropped catches, West Indies were bowled out for 251 and 227 respectively in their two innings.

Holder is lamenting the fact that his team was unable to post a competitive total to match Sri Lanka in the first innings.

“It’s important that we put up a first innings total that’s respectable.

“We only scored 250-odd in the first innings, and it set us back.

“We were pretty much behind the game from there.

“Having said that, if we held our chances when we bowled, their first innings total would have looked a lot different as well.” 

Praising his bowlers for showing character despite the lack of a good fielding display, Holder is expecting an improved batting performance in the next Test.

“I must commend our bowlers.

“They did really well in the first innings.

“To come back at the opposition and actually bowl them out was very commendable.

“But we just need to apply ourselves a bit more when we bat.

“Hopefully we can put some runs up in the second Test.” 

Sri Lanka were given a reprieve when Dinesh Chandimal was dropped early in the game and the right-hander went on to score 151 in the first innings.

Praising the efforts of the spinners, Holder reasoned that if the fielders held onto the catches, West Indies had the chance to put more pressure on Sri Lanka.

“We created chances but we just didn’t take them when they came.

“If we had, their first innings total would have looked a lot different.

“If we had a new batsman in at crucial stages when our fast bowlers were fresh, we would have had a chance to have a good burst at them.

“I thought our spinner bowled reasonably well, and our part timers in Marlon (Samuels) and Kraigg (Brathwaite) did a wonderful job for us.

“The combination was good enough for this game. It was unfortunate that we didn’t hold our chances.

“I guess we paid for it.” 

The pitch used in Galle for the first Test assisted the spinners, but was largely a flat batting track upon which Sri Lanka posted a mammoth score.

Notwithstanding the condition of the pitch, Herath put on a superlative performance as he picked up his fifth 10 wicket haul in Test cricket.

Holder has urged his batsmen to be patient and play the waiting game in order to succeed against a bowler like Herath in the second Test.

“There is not much in it (the pitch) for the bowlers.

“Even Rangana Herath with the harder ball he was more effective.

“As the ball got softer he had to work a lot harder for his wickets.

“We need to be a little bit patient when we’re batting against him, and just be a little bit more positive and decisive.

“Once we do that in the second Test, we’ll be a lot better off.”

The one positive for West Indies in their shambolic second innings was the performance of Jermaine Blackwood, who played a positive innings to score 92 runs.

When he was losing partners regularly, Blackwood decided to up the ante and launched a counter attack against the Sri Lankan bowlers.

Lauding Blackwood for his positive approach to the game, Holder hoped that the other batsmen in his side can back themselves and play their natural game.

“That’s just the way he (Blackwood) plays.

“He’s a very good player and shows positive intent all the time.

“That’s one thing that’s what we’ve been stressing with all the batsmen – play positive, trust in your defence, trust in your strokeplay, and play your game.

“Unfortunately some of our batsmen didn’t get the score we were looking for.

“One thing we did was apply ourselves to a certain extent, but we are just not carrying on.”

West Indies were unable to stitch together any substantial partnership in both their innings, failing to compile even a single fifty run stand in the Test.

Despite the batting failure, Holder is backing his team to come back stronger and fight to draw the two-match series 1-1.

“We’ve been talking about it in the dressing room and coming up with solutions.

“I have full confidence in the guys.

“I just told them – don’t get dejected, it’s not the end of the world.

“We have another Test match to make amends and come back stronger.

“We will push for that 1-all draw.”

Even though he lost his first match as a Test captain, the23-year-old stated that he is currently enjoying the responsibility thrust upon his shoulders.

“I enjoyed it (the captaincy).

“It was a very, very enjoyable experience.

“I enjoy playing Test cricket and I enjoy playing for the West Indies.

“I enjoy the camaraderie out there, and there’ no pressure at all.

“My guys make it easy for me.

“I’m still in good spirits and I’m confident we can turn things around.”

The action in the Sobers-Tissera Trophy will now shift to the P Sara Oval in Colombo which will host the second Test from 22nd October.

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