West Indies captain Jason Holder. (FILE)
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MANCHESTER – Despite squandering their faint hopes of direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup, the West Indies will be hoping to even their five-match one-day international series against England when the teams meet in the second match at Trent Bridge, today.
Captain Jason Holder has acknowledged the Windies let themselves down with “inconsistent” bowling after they lost the opening ODI by seven wickets.
Though defending only 204 in a contest reduced to 42 overs per side at Old Trafford, Holder lamented his side’s lack of enterprise with the ball as England raced to their target in the 31st over, courtesy of Jonny Bairstow’s maiden ODI hundred.
“With runs on the board, I still felt we could have given a better account of ourselves with the ball. We let ourselves down [by being] just too inconsistent and allowing them to score a bit too freely.
“We didn’t bowl as well as I thought we should.
“We were really inconsistent with our lines and lengths and we leaked boundaries,” he said.
Holder acknowledged that a lack of rotation of strike was to blame for the slow-down in momentum after a brisk opening stand between Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis.
“If we’re not getting boundaries we need to rotate the strike and it showed today. In the middle we got a little stuck so it’s an area we need to improve on in terms of rotating the strike,” Holder stressed.
“It’s been an area of concern for a long time for us. We’re naturally a boundary-hitting team but if the boundaries aren’t coming we need to find another option.”
The defeat meant West Indies will now have to resort to contesting a 10-team qualifier next year in order to reach the next World Cup in England. They can now only finish ninth in the ICC ODI rankings by the September 30 cut-off date, outside the top-right ranking required for direct qualification.
But Holder said their immediate focus was completing the ongoing series and playing competitively.
“There’s definitely work to be done [in the future] but we’ve just got to focus on this series first. We’ve got to pick ourselves up.”
Gayle, who initially seemed to have picked up a hamstring strain, and especially experienced middle order batsman Marlon Samuels will have to improved their running between the wickets.
Samuels struggled for his timing before eventually falling for 17 off 46 deliveries, 31 of which were dot balls.
Overall, there were 142 dot balls in West Indies’ 42 overs, something which didn’t pleasebatting coach Toby Radford.
“It’s the way Chris has always played. He’s a destructive batter and if you have him in for a period of time you can have a match-winning score,” Radford said. “He’ll always play the way he does and Marlon plays a bit like that as well.
“As a team we have to adapt, make sure we are pushing the fielders. Those ones and twos add up by the end.
“We have to find a way to get those singles, but sometimes you have to give credit to how a side bowls against you,” Radford explained.
The West Indies are expected to make at least one change to their team with leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo giving way to either Alzarri Joseph or Miguel Cummins. (CMC/EZS)