Windies batsman Kieron Pollard is poised to become the new captain of the regional team in both the T20 and ODI formats, numerous reports have claimed.

The 32-year-old Pollard, long thought of as a viable alternative for the post, is set to replace Jason Holder as head of the ODI team and Carlos Brathwaite as skipper of the T20 squad.  Holder was appointed the head of the regional team in 2014, with Brathwaite appointed as leader in the shorter format in 2016 after an outstanding performance at the World Cup.

 Neither captain has performed particularly well, however, with Holder losing 24 of 54 matches played and Brathwaite managing just a 33 percent win ratio.

Pollard has, however, not been a regular participant for the Windies squad in recent years, particularly in the ODI format where he last appeared for the team in 2016.  The player had, however, been named as a reserve for the 2019 World Cup but failed to make an appearance, as the regional team managed just one win and an eighth-place finish. 

Pollard made his T20 debut on June 2008 against Australia but was overlooked for several years after disputes with the regional board. He was, however, re­called to the West Indies team for the T20 internationals against Indian last month.

 

Windies skipper Jason Holder admits there is no easy solution to the batting afflictions currently suffered by the regional team, following yet another disappointing display against India in the second and final Test.

The regional team found themselves on the wrong end of a 257 runs defeat at the hands of India, on Monday, which followed a 318 loss in the first Test last week.  The result meant the Windies failed to win a match against India for the entire tour.

Both Test matches featured a substandard batting display from the hosts, who for example struggled to get 100 in the second innings of the first Test and 117 in the first innings of the second match.  India pace bowler Jaspit Bumrah proved to be particularly effective after taking 13 wickets in two Tests at an average of 9.23. 

"I’m obviously disappointed, we didn't play a complete game of cricket in any of the games. We need to put up the scores and fight out those tough periods.  It’s a tough question on how to fix the batting. It’s an individual thing,” Holder said.

“We need to take ownership of our performances,” he added.

The captain was quit to admit that he did not believe the team had a lot of choices as it relates to outside batting talent with which to improve the squad.

"The situation we are in the Caribbean...we are not really spoiled for choices in terms of batsmen coming through,” Holder said.

"We've got to put things in place and to make sure we keep developing players and make sure players are doing the right things to be successful.”

 

 

India skipper, Virat Kohli, believes his charges completed a successful routing of the West Indies in the Caribbean by being tough when they needed to be. 

Kohli was speaking after his touring side completed a 257-run victory over a virtually hapless West Indies in Jamaica.

Sent into bat, India scored 416 against the bowling of Jason Holder, 5-77 and debutant Rahkeem Cornwall, 3-105. India pressed the advantage when they bowled, skittling out the West Indies for a paltry 117 thanks, in large part to Jasprit Bumrah’s 6-27. Batting again India took a commanding lead after scoring 168-4 before again bowling out the West Indies, this time for 210.

"Pretty comprehensive again. We played good cricket, and getting the result in the manner you want is crucial as a team,” said Kohli after the game.

But it wasn’t always easy, despite the margin of victory and Kohli thanked his team for toughing out those moments when it wasn’t.

“We were put under pressure in a couple of sessions. While batting, there were some tricky situations but it took some character from the boys. Hanuma [Vihari] was the standout batsman, but Ajinkya [Rahane] in the second innings, Mayank [Argarwal] in the first innings, Ishant [Sharma] with the fifty - it was an innings full of grit,” said Kohli.

Vihari scored his maiden Test century in the first innings before going on to score an unbeaten half-century in the second to claim the man-of-the-match trophy.

“According to the surface, Vihari's innings was top class. He looks confident and the dressing-room feels calm when he bats. He's always willing to improve and correcting his mistakes. Plays with a lot of heart. Up to do anything for the team. That's why he invariably plays crucial innings for us. Young career for him so far, but he showed why he's been backed by this team,” said Kohli.

The man of the match was elated with his performance as well.

"Maiden Test hundred feels great. Missed out on the hundred in the last match, so was focusing on a big score this time. We were 200 for 5 in the first innings, and that was my goal while batting with Rishabh Pant. You had to be patient on this wicket, and select the ball where you'll score runs. There was something for the bowlers, so you need to wait for the balls. Took some calculated risks against the spinners. Even in the second innings, the template worked well for me,” said Vihari.

Virat Kohli insisted his whole team deserved credit after a second pummelling of West Indies ensured he became India's most successful Test captain.

Kohli's 28th win as skipper, which took him past the previous record tally of MS Dhoni, was just like the 27th, an emphatic thrashing of an overmatched Windies outfit.

India completed a 257-run victory on the fourth day of the second Test in Kingston.

Asked about his success as captain in the post-match presentation, Kohli said: "It's a by-product of the quality team that we have here, to be honest. I think all the credit has to go to the whole team.

"Captaincy is just a 'c' in front of your name, honestly. It's the collective effort that matters.

"It took a lot of character from the boys. It was a game full of grit and determination and [we're] really happy to get the result."

India - the world's number-one ranked side - now sit top of the World Test Championship table, their 2-0 series win in the Caribbean earning a maximum 120-point haul.

"For us it's just the start of the championship," said Kohli.

"What's happened in the past is irrelevant and we just want to look forward and keep continuing to play good cricket."

India's star batsman also lavished praise on Hanuma Vihari, who scored his maiden Test century in the first innings as India piled up 416.

"I think it was a top-class innings," said Kohli. "He's a guy who's very sure of his game and it shows when he plays.

"It's a very young career [so far] but he's shown why he has been backed and selected in this team."

No Windies player came close to matching Vihari's feats. Shamarh Brooks' second-innings fifty was the only score of note for a team bowled out for 117 and 210.

The Windies fared similarly in the first Test, making 222 and 100, leading skipper Jason Holder to state: "We just need to be able to put some scores on the board. We haven't been able to get the answers as yet."

Jasprit Bumrah claimed a hat-trick in a quite sensational display that set India on course for another big victory in the second Test against West Indies, who ended day two in disarray on 87-7.

The tourists, who won the first match by a whopping 318 runs, initially progressed from 264-5 to 416 all out on day two in Kingston, thanks largely to Hanuma Vihari's maiden Test hundred and 57 from Ishant Sharma.

If that ensured India maintained control of proceedings, what followed certainly left the Windies staring at defeat as Bumrah ran through their top order almost single-handedly.

He returned outstanding figures of 6-16 from 9.1 overs - including just the third Test hat-trick by an India bowler - in a phenomenal perfromance.

The Windies were 22-5 at one stage and grateful to Shimron Hetmyer (34) for a recovery of sorts as they at least batted out the evening session, ending the day 329 runs behind with only three first-innings wickets in hand.

Bumrah is playing just his 12th Test but already has 61 wickets and a quintet of five-wicket hauls after this remarkable spell.

The 25-year-old had put a dent in the Windies' response even before his hat-trick, tempting an edge from John Campbell (2) for the early breakthrough.

That came in Bumrah's third over - after which he had figures of 1-3 - and his fourth was staggering.

Darren Bravo was taken low at second slip by KL Rahul off the second ball, before Sharmarh Brooks fell lbw immediately, his review proving unsuccessful.

The finger did not go up for the next ball to Roston Chase, but Virat Kohli was confident the new batsman had also been trapped leg before and the review backed him up, confiming Bumrah's hat-trick.

Although Hetmyer belatedly stopped the Windies' rot, Bumrah was not done and Kraigg Brathwaite was caught behind in the 13th over, having had the audacity to hit the bowler for four from the previous delivery.

Bumrah briefly let someone else in on the act, with Hetmyer's brave resistance ended by Mohammed Shami, but the chief destroyer was back at it as home captain Jason Holder swiped to mid-off.

The show-stealing turn of Bumrah perhaps unfortunately pushed Vihari (111) and Ishant out of the headlines after the pair performed admirably with the bat.

Vihari built a series of partnerships - including an eighth-wicket stand of 112 with Sharma - before three wickets in as many overs finally brought India's first innings to an end.

Holder's dismissal of Vihari gave the all-rounder his fifth wicket of the innings and his 100th in Test cricket, also leaving number 11 Bumrah unbeaten on a day when he could do no wrong.

India recovered from a shaky start in Jamaica to establish control against West Indies - thanks in no small part to captain Virat Kohli.

Coming in at 46-2, Kohli helped to stabilise the India innings as he and opener Mayank Agarwal put on a crucial 69-run partnership for the third wicket.

Kohli went on to make 76 and Agarwal contributed 55 as India patiently amassed 264-5 by stumps.

The India skipper became the third of West Indies counterpart Jason Holder's three wickets when he finally departed, edging behind to debutant wicketkeeper Jahmar Hamilton, leaving the tourists on 202-5.

At that stage, the day could have still swung West Indies' way.

However, Hanuma Vihari (42 not out) and Rishabh Pant (27no) saw India safely to the close of play without any further damage.

West Indies debutant off-spinner Rahkeem Cornwall made a promising start to his international career, taking the early wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara and claiming two catches off Holder's bowling.

He bowled 27 overs at a cost of 69 runs on a day when West Indies leant heavily on spin having elected to bowl first.

Kemar Roach picked up the other wicket to fall on Friday – the paceman had Ajinkya Rahane (24) caught behind by Hamilton, who stepped into the home XI to replace the injured Shai Hope behind the stumps.

India lead the two-match series 1-0 after a 318-run victory in the first Test at North Sound, Antigua.

Windies skipper Jason Holder was adamant he had no issues with the team’s selection, despite a 318-run mauling at the hands of India in the first Test.

Ahead of the series, the omission of spinner Rahkeem Cornwall had furrowed the brows of several fans and pundits alike, following a string of impressive performances at the regional and A-team level.  Some took exception to the inclusion of pace bowler Miguel Cummings, at the expense of the all-rounder Cornwall who they believed could have troubled the Indian line-up.

Holder, however, insisted that there was no issue with the decision to include four fast bowlers in the team’s line-up, which had proven fruitful in a recent series.

 "No, I think team selection was good. We had won the first series early in this year with four fast bowlers and it worked for us,”

“It was difficult for me to change the winning bowling combination. It is a matter of time, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't."

West Indies will now face India in the second Test of the series at Sabina Park in Kingston from August 30.

Windies skipper Jason Holder had high praise for India pace bowler Jasprit Bumrah, who claimed a stunning five-for as the regional team barely got to 100 runs in its second innings against India on Sunday.

Bumrah took a damaging 5 wickets for just 7 runs, at one point leaving the Windies fighting to get to a half a century as the team struggled at 15 for 5.  In the end, 38 from tail-ender Kemar Roach did see the Windies dismissed for 100, still losing by a massive 318 runs.

 The Indian pacer was responsible for the dismissal of three of the team’s top-order batsmen, with Kraigg Brathwaite, John Campbell and Darren Bravo combining for 10 runs between them.

“Today Bumrah bowled some magic balls and he got few of our batsmen with some very good ball.  We have to find ways.  He is a quality bowler but definitely, there is a solution out there,” Holder said following the match.

Holder also had praise for Ishant Sharma and Mohammad Shami as they claimed 2 and 3 wickets, respectively.

"They bowled well.  Bumrah bowled an exceptional spell, Ishant was very supportive as well as Shami.  I just want those spells where the opposition gets on top and stays on top.  We have seen that happening around the world." 

 

West Indies captain Jason Holder was named Player of the Year and Test Player of the Year at the West Indies Players' Association/Cricket West Indies annual awards in Antigua on Monday night.

West Indies skipper, Jason Holder, is still the number-one Test all-rounder in the world even as his side is set to take on the might of India on Thursday.

Holder became the leading all-rounder in the five-day game last January after scoring an incredible double hundred against England before going on to take two wickets in a game the West Indies would win by 381 runs.

Among West Indies pacers, Holder is the highest ranked at eight, with Kemar Roach second at 11th.

Shannon Gabriel is ranked a place below Roach at number 12.

The Test-bowling rankings are led by Australia’a Pat Cummins, while South Africa’s Kagiso Rabada is second, followed by injured England paceman, Jimmy Anderson.

The West Indies are not as well off in the batting rankings, with opener Kraigg Brathwaite leading the way at 36th. Holder’s contribution with the bat comes next with the all rounder standing at 37th.

Roston Chase at 41, Shane Dowrich at 46, and Shimron Hetmyer at 48 are next.

Those ranking are led by India skipper Virat Kohli, while Australian Steve Smith comes next at second after his Lord’s heroics. New Zealand’s Kane Williamson is third.

Windies captain Jason Holder has bemoaned the team’s inability to take crucial chances following yet another loss to India in the second One Day International (ODI) at Queen’s Park Oval.

India took a 2-0 lead, on the back of a brilliant 114 from Virat Kohli, after securing a 6-wickets win via the DLS method on Tuesday.  Anchored by 72 from talisman Chris Gayle the Windies put up a competitive 240 and got off to a good start after dismissing Rohit Sharma with 25 runs on the board.

  Kohli, batting on 11, was surprised by a Keemo Paul with a delivery that went past him as he tried to make room to play on the leg side and caught an inside edge, he was, however, dropped behind by Shai Hope.

"We have got to hold our chances and we didn't hold them today. [Kohli] made us pay for it," Holder said.

"Credit to him he batted really well and he won the game for India in the end.  They got off to a really good start and so did we. I think it was a really, really good wicket for cricket. Conditions got a little tougher in the afternoon after the rain fell. The ball was a bit wet and the outfield was obviously very wet, too. It didn't work for us today."

While Windies skipper Jason Holder has voiced extreme disappointment after his side lost the second One Day International to India by 59 runs, the team’s coach believes the result is something to learn from.

“We had the game in our hand. We bowled well to come back in the end,” said Holder after his team restricted India to 279 despite Virat Kohli’s majestic 120 and Shreyas Iyer’s 71.

In response, the West Indies were coasting along at 179 for four when Nicholas Pooran (42), got out. Earlier, opener Evin Lewis had scored 65 to take the score to 148 for four, but there was an almost inexplicable collapse that cost the West Indies.

“The wickets in the end really cost us. We've got to take responsibility. One of the main things is when you get in, you've got to go deep. I must commend the bowlers. It was very hot and humid, tough conditions to bowl. We've definitely got to take responsibility and ownership as batters,” said Holder.

While in agreement with Holder, West Indies coach, Floyd Reifer, did not express the same disappointment as his skipper, saying the team was showing signs of improvement despite the poor results.

"It's not an uphill task. We're building ourselves again and when you're building your side you get speed bumps along the way. It's [about] how you bounce back from those speed bumps,” said Reifer.

“Very disappointed,” was Holder’s reaction and while Reifer hasn’t voiced the same sentiment, he did single out the batters for being too inconsistent.

"We got to continue to learn from this experience. Guys in the middle-order got to show a little bit more fight, a bit more grit and more determination to build those longer partnerships. Again, we were in front of the game today and we just found a way to give away our wickets. It's just a matter for us now to learn from our mistakes, dig deeper and work harder from the stressful positions we put ourselves in."

Windies One Day International (ODI) skipper Jason Holder has targeted batsmen going deep into the innings as crucial for success against in-form India when the three-match series bowls off on Thursday.

The two teams will enter the series at opposite ends of the spectrum, in terms of form and perhaps confidence.  India are fresh from a crushing T20 victory series over the Windies, while the regional team is still struggling to put together the pieces following a disastrous World Cup.

In addition, the Windies suffered 3-1 losses in their last two series against India.  Despite winning just a single game at the World Cup the Windies showed flashes of promise with individual batsmen getting starts but failing to deliver.

"Too many instances where we have gotten starts as individuals but never carried them deep into the innings, so that's one area we have pinpointed and once we've tackled that we have put ourselves in our very good position," he said ahead of the first ODI against India in Guyana.

"For me it's just a matter of remaining disciplined with the new ball, taking new-ball wickets and focus on their middle order and take the game from there," he added.

Windies bowling legend Curtly Ambrose admits he has an issue with a lack of aggression from current captain Jason Holder but believes the Barbadian remains the best man for the job.

The 27-year-old all-rounder has been in the post since 2015 but has come under heavy pressure in recent weeks, following a dismal performance for the team at ICC World Cup.  Managing just a single win, which came against Pakistan, the regional team finished ninth out of 10 teams.

While the outspoken Ambrose insisted that Holder needed to be more assertive in the post, the pace bowler pointed out that there was a lack of suitable replacements available.

“When you look at the resources it is a very short list so what are your options? You have Jason Holder, you got Craig Brathwaite who is his deputy and who are the others who lead or have led before? Hetmyer led the under-19s so maybe he is one to look at in the future once he can cement himself and get going but there is nobody really. The list is very short so we can’t just give a guy captaincy … because we need to be very careful. I think Jason should just continue for now and then we see what happens,” Ambrose told Antiguan radio show Good Morning Jojo.

“I think he has improved from when he started, so let’s be real, but my thing with Jason Holder is that I think is he may not be aggressive enough as a leader. I think he is a little too laid back because when you’re captain you’re a leader and people should recognize right away that he’s the leader. When you look at the West Indies team you’re not sure who the leader is, so Jason needs to, maybe, be more authoritative or just have some kind of presence so you know that he is the man in charge,” he said.

 

 

West Indies fast bowling legend Andy Roberts has blasted the captaincy of Jason Holder following a disappointing showing at the recently concluded ICC World Cup in England.

The regional team was tipped by a few pundits and fans to be capable of causing issues for the more fancied teams at the tournament but failed to live up to expectations. 

The same could be said for the 27-year-old Holder who headed into the tournament in a rich vein of form but failed to deliver a telling performance.  In his opinion, Roberts believes one of the biggest issues the team faced during the tournament was a lack of organisation and leadership.

“I don’t think too much of Jason Holder’s captaincy. He speaks well, but in terms of tactics on the field, I think he is found wanting and I don’t think he has the backroom staff. They weren’t experienced enough to help him so you have to look at a number of reasons why we did not go further in the tournament,” Roberts said in a radio interview.

“They had no plans because you had to have plan A, B, and then plan C; but their only plan was to bowl short and it showed throughout the entire tournament that they felt they could win based on the amount of – I can’t say fast bowlers – the amount of people they had with long run-ups and no head,” he added.

 

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