Let us control what we can: Holder slams critics

West Indies captain Jason Holder has hit back at criticism that the current team does not belong to the big league of Test cricket.

Jason Holder pointed out that the Test team has won more series than the ODI trophies won by West Indies in recent times.   -  K.V.S. Giri

West  Indian captain Jason Holder hopes for an improved performance from his team when it takes on India in the second Test match at Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here from October 12.

“Test cricket is all about being patient, building long partnerships and sustain pressure for long time. These are the things which we couldn’t do  in the first Test at Rajkot (which India won by a huge margin)," Holder informed media after a grinding training session today.

“Yes, the bowlers were not as penetrative as they should have been in Rajkot and not having big partnerships like the Indians had in posting such a massive total which actually pushed on to the backfoot,” the Windies captain said.

Read: No clarity over India-West Indies Mumbai ODI yet

“We did have a long chat with the bowlers on how to respond when the conditions are not helpful. The emphasis has to be on being skillful, do the holding job better making scoring difficult,” he said.

Reflecting on his fitness having missed the first Test because of an injury, Holder revealed that he is not still 100 per cent fit but hopes to be fit enough to last the full five days of the second Test.

“Probably, I will take a call tomorrow about my fitness level,” he added.

“The critics should remember that we are playing the best Test side in its own backyard. And,  the fact that  Windies have not won a Test since 1994 should also remind  how tough it is to beat the home team in these conditions,” he explained.

“Well, the focus for right now is not to think what the critics have to talk about us, but focus on the cricketing part and keep improving. Everyone has his opinion and I don’t want to get personal in this regard,” was Holder’s reaction to the severe criticism that this Windies team doesn’t belong to the big league of Test cricket.

Also Read: ‘We can’t force people to play Test cricket," says Windies coach

On the pitch here, the West Indian captain felt it looked different from the one in Rajkot and it will be interesting to see how it shapes up for the next few days.

The Windies captain also disagreed with the view that it is time that it should opt to be a more specialist limited-overs side. “I don’t see any logic in this argument and if you look at our performances for more than a decade, except for a couple of bright spots in one-dayers like winning  ICC Champions Trophy, we have not done that well in that format. On the other hand, it is in Test cricket we did win two or three Test series,” was his reasoning.

“Let us control what we can like playing better cricket than focus on what people have to say,” he added.

On Chris Gayle opting out of the one-day and the T-20 series after this Test series here in India, Holder  felt that it was clear the hard-hitting opener was at the back end of his career.

“I enjoy having him in the team. But again, Gayle not playing also means opening a huge opportunity for another. But again, Gayle will be playing in the World Cup next year  in England,” Holder said.