Sport

ODIs a batsman game, argues skipper Holder

Friday, February 22, 2019

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) – Captain Jason Holder has defended his side's bowling performance in Wednesday's opening One-Day International, after they failed to defend a venue record 360 at Kensington Oval.

At no time did England's batsmen appear troubled in completing their highest successful run chase, prompting questions about the potency of the Windies attack.

But Holder told reporters he was happy with the composition of the bowling group, pointing out it was difficult in modern ODI cricket for bowlers to dominate.

“If you look at the way England bowled, you could ask England the same question [about potency]. It's just the way one-day cricket is at this present time,” Holder said following the defeat.

“Not many people bowl out people in one-day cricket – it's a situation of out-scoring the other team. I think that's just the way we've got to look at it. We've got to be clinical in terms of our batting – make sure we bat deep and we bat long.

“And I think once we do that, we've got to be a little more precise in our decision-making when it comes to the balls we want to bowl and stick to it. That's just the way one-day cricket is at the moment. I don't think it is a situation where we can sit down and, say, impact bowlers here and there.

“It is what it is with what we have. We've got a really good balance and I'm willing to work with them.”

Opener Jason Roy entertained with 123 while Test captain Joe Root added 102 and skipper Eoin Morgan, 65, as England achieved the third highest successful run chase in history with eight balls to spare.

On a belter of a pitch, the fast bowling trio of Oshane Thomas, Carlos Brathwaite and Holder, were hardly threatening and neither leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo nor off-spinner Ashley Nurse had any impact.

The decision to hand Bishoo the new ball also surprised many but Holder said it was a strategic move to counter the openers Roy and Jonny Bairstow (34).

“It was something that was out of the box and it was a situation where we felt pace off the ball to these guys was good,” he explained.

“Roy and Bairstow like to hit through the ball. It's just something of a tactic that we used. It probably didn't work for us… but in hindsight you can say a few things. Had it gone differently, we would have been in with a shout.”

West Indies had earlier notched their joint third highest-ever total in ODIs and highest against England when they piled up 360 for eight off 50 overs.

Veteran opener Chris Gayle lashed 135 on his first appearance in Windies colours in seven months, notching his 24th ODI century.


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