Kingston: West Indies captain Jason Holder has called on his team to raise their game and close the gap on India in the second Test at the Sabina Park, Jamaica, starting on Saturday.
The visitors had won the first Test in Antigua by an innings and 92 runs.
“We need to be better than the last game. Our bowling was not good enough. And we obviously did not bat well enough. One of the things we really stressed on was the consistency. We need to build pressure for long periods and bowl well in partnerships. But we did not sustain that long enough in the game. That’s some of the key areas we need to pay attention,” Holder said.
“We failed in both bowling and batting. In cricket you have to execute. You know in hindsight you can say a lot of things but then it boils down to execution. Bowlers have to be consistent for longer periods and batsmen just have to knock it down, occupy the crease and score. That’s the bottom-line,” he said ahead of the match which begins on Saturday.
Asked about the green pitch at Sabina Park, Holder said, “The last game we played here was against Australia (last year). There was not this amount of grass on the pitch. Previously there was grass but this pitch still ends up being on the slower side. To be fair, probably it’s difficult really to predict how the pitch will play here in Jamaica.”
Talking about 19-year-old pacer Alzarri Joseph, who was included in the Windies’ squad for this Test, he said, “To be fair, I have never played against Alzarri and never seen him play cricket live. But I have seen him play on TV.”
“And there is obviously a lot of talk going behind him. He has the talent, the ability and he has pace. He got here by hard work and by performances. He will just continue doing what he has been doing before and if given the opportunity, I wish him all the best,” Joseph said.
“We just need to get behind him if he is making his debut. If he plays in near future, we just need to give him support. Anything is possible,” he added.
Despite the green grass and additional firepower in bowling, West Indies will have to put in a lot of hard work to bridge the gap in quality between the two sides. India had won here last in 2011 by 63 runs in four days.
“It’s not difficult to motivate this team. This is a young team and they are looking to make their mark. Everybody’s always looking forward to playing Test cricket. As a youngster you come to see the likes of Sir Garfield Sobers, Malcolm Marshall and Joel Garner, and the lot aspires to be like them,” Holder said.