Holder makes ambitious statement on West Indies Test rankings

By December 02, 2019
West Indies Test captain Jason Holder West Indies Test captain Jason Holder

West Indies Test captain Jason Holder wants his side to be among the best in the world by July 2021 and goes further to expect a top-five ranking by then.

There was a time when that kind of brash talk would have been expected from a West Indian but not given the kind of lean times the region has had with bat and ball in the last 25 years.

Holder was speaking after the West Indies won its first Test match under new coach Phil Simmons in Lucknow, India, beating Afghanistan by nine wickets.

The International Cricket Council (ICC) started the World Test Championship on August 1, 2019, creating a league for the top nine Test-playing teams over two years with the top two teams qualifying for a World Test League Championship Final. The World Test Championship begins again in July of 2021.

That being said, the West Indies did not start their World Test Championship campaign very well, losing to India in the Caribbean in a largely one-sided affair.

But now, with the dominance the West Indies showed against Afghanistan, despite it not being a World Test Championship encounter, hope abounds once again.

"I think by the end of the Test Championship, I don't see it being impossible for us to be fourth or fifth in the world," said Holder.

"That would be a significant achievement in a two-year period. We've got some tough series coming up. We've got England, then South Africa coming to the Caribbean, then we've got New Zealand… all good cricket sides. But I don't think it's beyond us to beat them. We've just got to make sure we keep building and developing. Once we do that, we can compete with any side in the world. A realistic target in two years would be to be ranked three or four in the world."

According to Holder, while the game was not part of the World Test Championship, there was enough shown by the West Indies to offer a road map of what needed to be done to get into the top five.

"I've said it in the last couple of series we've played: more responsibility needs to be taken by our batters," Holder said.

"Once they do that and take the bull by the horns, I think our bowling attack has shown it can compete with any attack in the world. We've shown glimpses of brilliance, which is all well and good, but consistency is the name of the game. In order to be a world-class team, you have to be consistent with your batting. You have to get 20 wickets of course, but you have to set it up with the bat. First innings' count for a lot. If we can put teams under pressure with our first innings scores, more often than not, West Indies will be up there among the top-ranked sides in the world."

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

Related items

  • Windies to tackle Sri Lanka in first away series Windies to tackle Sri Lanka in first away series

    The West Indies commence their first away series of 2020 with three One-day and two Twenty20 internationals in Sri Lanka from February 22 to March 6.

    The one-day matches will be the final bilateral series West Indies will play before the Caribbean side and all the top thirteen teams participate in newly formed ICC ODI league that runs from May 2020 - March 31, 2022.

    In this new limited-overs cycle, under the 2019 - 2023 Future Tours Programme (FTP) established by the ICC to bring greater context to international cricket fixtures, the seven highest-ranked teams apart from India, who gained automatically entry as tournament hosts, will qualify for the 2023 World Cup.Following the 3- 0 ODI series clean sweeps against Afghanistan and Ireland, the West Indies currently sit in 9th position with 80 points with Sri Lanka in 8th place on 81 points.

    A series win for West Indies will move them into 8th position ahead of Sri Lanka in the official ICC ODI Team Rankings, ahead of the first ODI league matches at home in July against current number three ODI ranked team, New Zealand.

    The T20Is provide West Indies the opportunity to win their first T20I rubber since the 2-1 series victory over Bangladesh in December 2018 as they continue to build momentum ahead of the T20 World Cup in Australia in October 2020, a country where the team won their first T20 World Cup title in 2012.

    Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams said the series was important as the team sought to continue steady preparations for the World Cup.

    “The Sri Lanka series allows us to continue the process of building towards this year’s T20 World Cup in Australia as well as the longer term goal of automatic qualification for the next ICC Cricket World Cup in 2023. Playing in unfamiliar conditions should be a good test for both of our squads.”

     

  • How much is regional cricket really worth? How much is regional cricket really worth?

    The Zone takes a lot of the pluses and minuses of cricket on the economy of countries at the local level.

  • Gibson takes job as Bangladesh bowling coach Gibson takes job as Bangladesh bowling coach

    Former West Indies coach Ottis Gibson has officially signed on to be the bowling coach of Bangladesh for the next two years.

    The 50-year-old Gibson, who also twice served as bowling coach of England and most recently South Africa, will replace Charles Langeveldt, who quit the post in December.  Langeveldt, the former South African cricket coach, spent just five months in the post.

    The South African had himself replaced another West Indian Courtney Walsh who left the team following the World Cup.  Gibson is expected to join the team in Pakistan for the three-match T20I series in Lahore later this week.   Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) CEO Nizam Uddin Chowdhury said Gibson's presence will be a major boon for the team.

    "He brings in tremendous experience and has coached or played all over the world. He has also had the opportunity to observe Bangladesh cricket from close. I am sure he will be a very valuable addition to the Bangladesh team's coaching group.”

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.