Not standing up to a challenge has become a “common thing” for West Indies’ top-order batsmen, lamented an “extremely disappointed” captain Jason Holder.
Holder expressed his disappointment after West Indies were bowled out for 222 in reply to India’s first-innings total of 297 all out in their opening World Championship Test match at Antigua on Saturday.
“Extremely disappointed... It has been a common thing for our batsmen now. We have not been able to step up as a top-order, the middle and lower order have done an exceptional job,” Holder said during a media conference at the end of third day’s play.
“We are behind the eight ball because we did not bat well in the first innings.
“The boys are fighting, the effort was exceptional, we have been in the match with the bowling effort. We kept toiling away, it is not a surface on which you can bowl out a side cheaply. We hope to restrict India and then chase down the total,” he added.
Holder spoke after Virat Kohli (51) and Ajinkya Rahane (53) propelled India to a commanding position with their unbroken 104-run partnership for the fourth wicket, extending the visitors’ overall lead to 260. He lauded his pace attack, especially Kemar Roach, for his consistency.
“Bowlers are doing an exceptional job. India is scoring at two and a half runs per over, we are fighting very hard. The body language has been right up there. We got early wickets and they built a partnership in the first innings. We just need to play smart cricket in the remaining match.
“Kemar has been brilliant. We, as a fast-bowling group, have done a good job. Kemar keeps you guessing, there is never a situation in which he gets predictable. It is a plus having Kemar in this side. He makes something happen with the ball.
“Yes, Ishant got five wickets in the first innings, but in my opinion, Kemar has been the standout bowler in this match,” he added.