FORMER West Indies Cricket Board director Baldath Mahabir and former TT Red Force manager Roland Sampath believe changes should be made to the West Indies starting XI for the team’s next match in the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup. Mahabir and Sampath believe Jason Holder and Roston Chase should be considered.
Holder has been brought into the West Indies 15-man squad as a replacement for injured fast bowler Obed McCoy for the remainder of the T20 World Cup in United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman.
Holder was already in the UAE as one of four travelling reserves. McCoy played against England in the first match West Indies played on Saturday, but missed the match against South Africa on Tuesday.
McCoy has an injured right leg.
According to an ICC statement on Wednesday, “An ICC event technical committee…approved the change on Wednesday 27 October, allowing Jason Holder to join the 15.”
Lead men’s selector Roger Harper told Cricket West Indies media, “Jason Holder has been in the UAE for a while now and will fit quite well into the team unit. He is an experienced and knowledgeable cricketer who we know will be eager and excited to grab the opportunity.”
The regional team will hope Holder’s inclusion will give the team a spark as West Indies have lost both matches so far.
West Indies will have to win their remaining matches against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Australia to keep their chance alive of qualifying for the semifinals.
West Indies will play Bangladesh at 6 am (TT time), on Friday in their next match.
Many felt Holder should have been in the original 15-man squad.
Mahabir said, “I agree he (Holder) should have been in the 15 in the first instance. He is the best cricketer in the Caribbean over all formats if you take an average.”
Giving more thoughts on Holder, Mahabir said, “I wouldn’t be surprised to see Holder slotted straight into the starting XI which will make a mockery out of the selection.”
Mahabir said Roston Chase can play a key role in the team.
“It is obvious we are missing an anchor man in the set up. I felt that the game we lost against South Africa that Lendl Simmons was not in his natural role playing the anchor man…if we are looking for a second spinner again Chase fits the bill because he will give us that anchor role and also give us the spin option.”
If Gayle is playing Mahabir said he must open.
Mahabir said McCoy’s injury problems are concerning. “It is unfortunate that Obed McCoy is injured once again and I am becoming very worried of the consistent injury problems. It reminds me much of a young Adrian Barath playing for the West Indies way back when.”
Mahabir called on West Indies cricket stakeholders to pay attention to McCoy’s injury problems.
Sampath, who is also a former national cricketer, said Holder must play.
“Of course (he should start). First of all he should have been on the original team. He is bringing experience to the team, he is a performance oriented person.”
Sampath said many of the West Indies batsmen are out of form if you look at their performances in the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League, Indian Premier League and international series earlier in the year.
“Based on their performance they never gave us that confidence going forward that they will perform in the World Cup.”
Sampath said Chase must be considered.
“He was the most successful batsman (in the CPL). That’s why he was selected for this tournament. So why didn’t you give the man the opportunity to play.
“They will bring him in now, (but) it is too late. The horse has bolted.”
Sampath said off spinner Chase and fast bowler Holder can contribute with the ball.
Sampath said he will drop Gayle and leg spinner Hayden Walsh Jnr.
Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Dwayne Bravo, Roston Chase, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Evin Lewis, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jnr
Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Gudakesh Motie