WEST Indies captain Jason Holder felt the bowlers put their hands up during the Test series against England, but said the batsmen needed to convert more of their starts.
On Tuesday, England won the third and final Test match by 269 runs at Old Trafford, Manchester to clinch the series 2-1 to reclaim the Wisden Trophy. West Indies were the holders of the trophy after winning the Test series 2-1 in the Caribbean in 2019.
Holder, speaking to journalists on Zoom following Tuesday’s final day, said, “We obviously disappointed to lose this series. We’ve had quite a few positives in this series. Just probably a few more conversions from the starts that we got would have done us a lot better.
“I felt the bowlers really tried…but also we did not field as well as we probably could have and those things we could definitely control.”
West Indies did not score any centuries during the series with Jermaine Blackwood recording the highest individual score with 95. Blackwood was also the leading run scorer for West Indies with 211 runs at an average of 35.16. West Indies scored a total of eight half centuries with Blackwood, Shamarh Brooks and Kraigg Brathwaite hitting two each and Roston Chase and Shane Dowrich scoring one apiece.
In the bowling department, fast bowler Shannon Gabriel was the top bowler with 11 wickets despite struggling with his fitness during the series.
Fast bowler Holder and off spinner Roston Chase both got ten scalps and fast bowler Kemar Roach took eight wickets.
Chase won the West Indies' Player of the Series award. He scored 157 runs at an average of 26.16, along with the ten wickets.
The covid19 pandemic meant West Indies had to stay in a bio-secure environment for four weeks before the first Test match bowled off on July 8. The players were required to stay in their rooms and train at Old Trafford, Manchester.
On the sacrifice his players made, Holder said, “It has been challenging mentally. I think a lot of our guys have felt it…more or less I think the guys have done outstandingly well in terms of keeping their focus. The last Test match obviously we were probably outplayed, but I think we’ve got a lot of positives in this Test series whether it be wickets, runs. I think generally as a group we have shown signs of improvement as well.”
The trio of batsman Darren Bravo, batsman Shimron Hetmyer and all-rounder Keemo Paul chose not to tour due to covid19. Asked about having the options to play those players on tour, Holder said he was backing the group he had in England.
“I was very happy with the team that we’ve got here, the 15 players that we’ve got over here is part of our Test team. I am happy with (them). There is no guarantee Bravo, Hetmyer or Paul would have played. The way we have gone as a batting unit particularly we have not had the consistency that we were looking for. If you look at the three players that you called just now, two of them are batsmen so there is no guarantee (we would have batted better) and Keemo Paul has pretty much been a back up towards what we’ve had here so far. I think the squad we’ve got here was the squad to do it.”
Holder downplayed the rivalry between Ben Stokes and himself – the top two all-rounders in the world. Stokes leapfrogged Holder during the series as the top all-rounder in Test cricket.
The Windies all-rounder said he wanted to contribute more with the bat.
“I have nothing to say on the rivalry…I would have liked a bit more runs. I think I bowled well, but I would say I am short a few runs in this series.”
Holder scored 114 runs in six innings at an average of 22.80 which included a high score of 46.