Vocal Holder keeps Windies going through tough period

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Vocal Holder keeps Windies going through tough period

NORTH SOUND – All-rounder Jason Holder may no longer be captain of West Indies, but he showed his leadership on the field during a tense period of play in the second Test against Sri Lanka in Antigua.

Holder has been replaced by Kraigg Brathwaite, his childhood friend, Wanderers clubmate and Barbados Pride teammate, in the position of full-time Windies captain, starting with this international home series against the Sri Lankans.

With the battle of attrition at its height during an elongated final period of play on the second day of the match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, Holder led the “chirp” against the resilient Sri Lanka pair of Dinesh Chandimal and Dhananjaya de Silva.

The wireless lavalier microphones located behind the stumps at each end of the pitch captured the friendly banter between Holder and the two Sri Lankan batsmen in the midst of the television commentary, which features outstanding former West Indies fast bowling trio of Ian Bishop, Sir Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh.

“It has been a pretty docile pitch so far and we have got to find ways of motivating ourselves because it was pretty flat,” Holder said in the post-play TV interview.

“We just needed a little bit of a burst in terms of that chirping, so I took up the responsibility to encourage the guys and make sure that we kept going through the entire innings.

“It has been a really good effort by the bowlers so far and it’s not a pitch on which you can go and just blast batsmen out. It is a pretty good pitch for batting, so you have got to be really, really patient and encouragement is part of it.”

Chandimal was not out on 34 and Dhananajaya was not out on 23, and the Sri Lankans were 136 for three, replying to the Windies’ first innings total of 354, at the close on the second day of the match at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.

Holder said it was an even contest between the two sides in the match so far and another monumental effort will be required on the third day for West Indies to get the edge.

“It’s pretty even-Stephens,” he said. “We have got two set batsmen at the crease at the moment. Our bowlers toiled really hard, but it’s only 60 overs…

“If, perhaps, we can grab two wickets before the second new ball comes, I believe we will be pretty much in the game.

“But it’s pretty even at this stage. If we had gotten two more wickets before the close, we probably would have been a nudge in front.”

Holder said he was disappointed he was not able to make a breakthrough before the close, but he remained confident about his bowling and hoped things swung his way on the third day.

(AR)