LEGENDARY West Indies fast bowler Michael Holding said recent performances by West Indies against England should give the regional team confidence heading into the upcoming tour.
Holding spoke recently on his Youtube programme Mikey – Holding nothing back with host Asif Khan.
West Indies and England will play a three-match Test series in England starting on July 8, a series that was uncertain for months because of covid19.
The tour will take place once the United Kingdom government approves it. The last two series between the teams were competitive with England winning 2-1 in 2017 in England and West Indies coming out on top by the same margin in 2019 in the Caribbean.
Holding said, “The second Test match (win by West Indies) at Leeds (in 2017) should show them that they are able to compete in England. They won in the Caribbean and a lot of teams do a lot better at home than away from home, but that Test series should let them know that they can compete with England in England.”
Holding said it would benefit West Indies that several members of the current team toured England in 2017. “You mentioned also that there are about 75 per cent of the guys who toured England in this same squad, so it is nothing new for them so that should give them a little bit of help in that regard mentally, and of course they have the Wisden Trophy.
They beat England in the Caribbean (so) that should spur them on again to try and make sure that they retain that Wisden trophy, that is a huge thing for them.”
West Indies will be without Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer and Keemo Paul as the trio declined the opportunity to tour because of safety concerns. Holding said he understands why the players opted not to tour. However, the former West Indies fast bowler, said the series would have been a chance for Bravo to boost his career and for Hetmyer to continue showing his potential.
“It is unfortunate for the West Indies because these guys have quite a bit of talent and they will be missed. I am sorry that Bravo in particular is not going because Bravo needs to resuscitate his career. He started off so brilliantly, everybody thought he was going to be another great West Indies batsmen, he has not really fulfilled that...Hetmyer again I think is a very talented player. I think people have heard me talk about Hetmyer in the past and again I am sorry he is not going so that he can get more opportunities to express himself.”