BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Jason Holder wants to see more conviction in the approach from West Indies' batsmen, as the home side chases a series lead in Wednesday's third Twenty20 International against England.
West Indies dominated the last Saturday's opener to win by nine wickets but a top-order batting collapse cost them dearly in the second game on Sunday, and they slipped to an agonising one-run defeat at Kensington Oval.
The Caribbean side's batsmen struggled against off-spinner Moeen Ali (3-24) and leg-spinner Adil Rashid (2-24) during the loss and Holder said adjustments needed to be made, especially against the spin duo.
“I think we've just got to show more intent and intent doesn't mean hitting the ball in the air or being reckless,” all-rounder Holder told Tuesday's media conference.
“I just think we need to be more precise in our footwork and committing to certain things – not being tentative.
“For me personally, when you look at West Indies cricket and playing slow bowling over the last decade, a lot of it has been tentative. And that's because you're unsure sometimes, yes, but you can be unsure and still show intent and have a bowler guessing.
“I think we've got to impose ourselves a little bit more and just show more intent with our footwork and just commit to more stroke-play.”
He continued: “It all boils down to intent. I think intent goes a very, very long way and it's a funny word for a lot, because a lot of people tend to believe intent means swiping and being aggressive but you could be showing that intent with your footwork and that's how batting works.”
The two games so far have been a tale of opposites for West Indies. In the opener, they blasted England out for 103 with Holder leading an outstanding bowling effort with a career-best haul of four for seven.
Opener Brandon King then hit an unbeaten half-century as the hosts easily overhauled their target.
Sunday's encounter, however, saw West Indies wobbling on 98 for eight in the 17th over in pursuit of 171, representing a massive batting failure.
A record unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 72 between Akeal Hosein (44 not out) and Romario Shepherd (44) nearly turned the tables towards the end.
On the back of those performances, Holder said it was important West Indies produced a “complete” performance, especially in the fielding department.
“We've just got to keep challenging ourselves to play a complete game,” said the 30-year-old.
“To be honest, I don't think we were good enough in the field for the last encounter, and that probably hurt us at the end of the game.
“I think if we're a lot more clinical and consistent then we can make our lives a lot easier when we go to bat.”
He added: “Having said that, the challenge is out there for every individual to bring consistency. I think consistency is something we have spoken about for years and I just think it's time we start heading in the right direction.
“We just want to see some progression and development consistently.”
WEST INDIES – Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Dominic Drakes, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Jason Holder, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Hayden Walsh Jr.
ENGLAND – Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Tom Banton, Sam Billings, Liam Dawson, George Garton, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Saqib Mahmood, Tymal Mills, David Payne, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Phil Salt, Reece Topley, James Vince, Harry Brook.