We have shown we can push top teams like India: West Indies captain Jason Holder

The visitors enjoy limited experience in Indian conditions with skipper Jason Holder all set to play his first test in India on Thursday. 

We have shown we can push top teams like India: West Indies captain Jason Holder
Courtesy: Reuters

The current West Indies squad may not have much experience of playing in India but captain Jason Holder feels that it can compete against the world number one side India like it has done against other top teams such as England.

After a memorable win against England at Leeds last year, the West Indies have had a decent 2018 as they drew with Sri Lanka at home before beating the visiting Bangladesh side. The unit is not short on talent but enjoys limited experience in Indian conditions with only five members of the 15-man squad having featured in a Test in the country.

Skipper Holder, who himself has not played a Test in India, remains confident.

"It is a great challenge and everyone is up for it. We have pushed top teams in the last few years. This group has shown what they can do. We are just focused on playing good cricket and would not like to be drawn in personal battles," said Holder ahead of the first Test beginning on Thursday.

The team is clear with its game plans having spent a week in Dubai before playing a two-day warm-up in Baroda.

"Patience plays a massive role in India. We need to stick to game plans and not get into one on one battles. We have discussed how we are going to score runs against their quality attack. One of the things I spoke about was patience, capitalising on every opportunity to score. Not be reckless at the same time but have a clear game plan to score," said the 26-year-old, who has played 34 Tests.

Pace is West Indies' biggest strength though they have been hit by the absence of Kemar Roach in the series opener with the lead fast bowler rushing back home following the death of his grandmother. The pitch at Rajkot enjoys a bit of grass and Holder is not complaining.

"It (pitch) was covered when I came today but there seems to be a bit of grass. The practice facilities are brilliant in Gujarat. But like I said cricket is played on the day. It is about executing your plans."

The West Indies have produced a battery of world-class T20 players including Chris Gayle and Kieron Pollard over the years. However, their success in the shortest formats has led to the perception that they are not attracted to the five-day format.

Holder refuted this statement stating that there are many who rate Test cricket as the pinnacle of the game.

"Funny you have asked me that question. A couple of days ago I was just chatting around in the dressing room. I highlighted how much of a joy and pride I feel in playing Tests. I love all formats but Test is my favourite,"

"It was shocking to know that most, if not everyone, said that they want to be successful Test players. Even during CPL T20, you see young players showing eagerness to play Test cricket. There is often talk about Test cricket dying but if youngsters developing in the Caribbean are looking forward to playing Tests, the format will stay for a long long time," said the captain.

On a closing note, Holder paid a glowing tribute to outgoing coach Stuart Law, who will part ways with the team following the tours against India and Bangladesh.

"He has definitely brought in a lot of order to West Indies cricket. He has put the structures in place. He will be missed and I wish him the best," he added. 

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