Cricket

Holder says Lewis pull-out a setback for planning

Sunday, October 21, 2018

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GUWAHATI, India (CMC) — Attacking opener Evin Lewis's late withdrawal for the o ne- d ay series against India was a “tough” blow to the team's plans, c aptain Jason Holder conceded yesterday.

“It's hard to lose a player who has been around and has some success in the particular format we're playing in. No doubt, it's tough,” Holder said ahead of Sunday's opening match of the five-match series.

“You obviously set your plans and you formulate your plans around the composition you would have selected. [To have someone pull out at] such a late time is tough.”

Lewis is a key member of the Windies ODI set-up, already with two hundreds in 35 matches and an average of 32.

However, he suddenly withdrew from both the one-day and Twenty20 squads last week, citing “personal reasons” and further raising speculation over his future in West Indies cricket.

Holder, who has presided over a turbulent period of chopping and changing since the last World Cup three years ago, said the key was to remain focussed and get the best out of every player in the side.

“I've got to only cope with what I can, I've got to control what I can. I've been given a task to marshal the troops that we have here — know that I'll be going out on the field trying to give my best with the side,” the all-rounder stressed.

“For me, it's just leading from the front and leading by example with my own personal performances. We've set up roles for everyone, so everyone can carry out their roles and make the team's success a lot easier.”

Lewis, 26, also pulled out of the T20 series against New Zealand last December for “personal reasons” and earlier this month declined a central contract from Cricket West Indies.

He joins on the sidelines the likes of superstar Chris Gayle, who made himself unavailable for the current series, and Sunil Narine and brothers Dwayne and Darren Bravo who were overlooked for selection.

“Obviously there have been a few issues off the field, many of which are beyond my control. At the end of the day I was picked to represent West Indies — the same for the likes of the other players who are selected,” Holder pointed out.

“I am happy with the guys who are here and they are more than capable of doing well and being successful. I love challenges. We need to harness the talent because this is the future of West Indies cricket.”

Lewis has been replaced in the touring party by fellow left-hander Kieran Powell who featured in the preceding two-Test series.

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