West Indies need to start well and finish strong - Jason Holder
West Indies captain Jason Holder has stressed the importance of performing well in the first 10 overs and thereafter putting on a strong display in the death overs in their must-win clash against South Africa on Friday.
West Indies must beat South Africa on Friday in the ongoing One-Day International tri-series if they are to qualify for the final.
Despite a strong display from Marlon Samuels in the previous ODI against Australia in Barbados, West Indies succumbed to a six-wicket defeat after losing three quick wickets in the first 10 overs while they were also restricted towards the death.
Holder has urged his team to put up a better show against South Africa in the final group stage match in the ongoing tri-series.
"We have to go back to the last game we played them, and obviously we have to be better in the first 10 overs," Holder said.
"I thought they ran away with the game in the last ten overs in St Kitts, so we spoke about that.
"One of the things we really stressed on in the dressing room is the first 10 overs and then finishing off in the last 10 overs.
"Those are pretty much the business areas of the bowling department, where games are probably won or lost.
"(You) set up in the first 10 and then finish it off in the last 10 so we just have to be better there."
Samuels’ century came as a welcome sign for West Indies and along with the innings of 91 from Denesh Ramdin, the duo helped the team post 282 for eight in 50 overs.
Holder once again wants one of his top four batsmen to fire in the clash against South Africa which according to him will make the job of the middle order easier to come in and express themselves.
"We got one of the top four batsmen to get a hundred, which is what we were asking for, it’s about repeating it," Holder said.
"It may not be Marlon tomorrow; it may be somebody else.
"You want your top four batsmen to bat down to at least 40-45 overs.
"Once you have a set batter there, especially in the top four, it is easier for the guys to come in and play around them."
Against Australia, West Indies allowed the opposition batsmen to build a string of crucial partnerships which allowed the visitors to keep a check on the required rate at all times.
With wickets in hand, Australia launched a counterattack towards the death through Glenn Maxwell, who scored a pacy 46 runs from just 26 balls.
In order to do well against South Africa, Holder said that it will be crucial to strike early in the innings and follow it up with a better bowling display in the death overs.
"It’s a situation where we need early wickets and having said that the middle overs pretty much take care of themselves.
"That’s where we generally bring back the game and peg back some economical overs.
"My main focus is finishing off the innings well in terms of death bowling.
"Obviously, we also need to field well."
Holder is currently in doubt for the must-win clash due to a hamstring injury but the 24-year-old revealed that a final call on his inclusion will be taken on the eve of the game.
"Still undergoing assessment. (I am) feeling a lot better than I thought it would to be honest.
"So, we will make a final decision tomorrow before the game."
West Indies have met South Africa twice before at Barbados' Kensington Oval, losing on both occasions in 2001 and 2005.
© Cricket World 2016