The inexperienced West Indies cricket team suffered an inning and 272-run defeat against India in the first Test at Rajkot. India finished the match inside three days as the spinners wrapped up the clueless Windies batsmen twice in four sessions. Post the crushing loss, the visitors drew flak for their surrender against the Indian bowlers. Even former West Indies players criticized the players, who batted irresponsibly in the first Test. Taking a dig at the critics, skipper Jason Holder on Wednesday said that even Caribbean team of the 90’s that included legendary Brian Lara, couldn’t win a Test series in India.
“We are playing the No.1 team, India, in their backyard. And history would show we haven’t won a Test match here since 1994 and if you look at the players who came through West Indies cricket – I think Brian Lara and these greats have been playing all that time.”
Recently, former West Indies captain Carl Hooper was critical of youngsters in the island nations being only interested in T20 contracts but without taking names, the current skipper presented a contrarian view.
“Again, everyone is entitled to their opinion. I just focus primarily on what I have to do and what the team has to do. There’s no point worrying about what people have to say because people will always have to say (something or the other).
“The only way we can silence the critics – or try to silence them because I don’t think they’ll ever shut up – is by playing cricket.”
The all-rounder, who is yet to get fully fit for the second Test, looked clearly unhappy with all the barbs thrown at his inexperienced side.
“A lot has been said about this Test team in particular; things that I am not in agreement with. Because we have beaten top sides in the last two-three series we’ve played. We probably haven’t won as many series as we’d like. Within the last year, I think we’ve won two out of four or five series we’ve played. So I don’t understand why people would be this harsh towards us.”
He also didn’t agree with the theory that West Indies can go the Bangladesh way by concentrating on one format – may be ODI or T20.
“I think I would disagree with that. If you look at our history in the last three-four-five years, our suited formats has ideally been T20 cricket and second behind would be Test cricket. We are really struggling in ODI cricket for the last 10 years, if you go back that far.
“We’ve obviously had one or two bright spots – our notable performance in ICC 50-over cricket would be the Champions Trophy that we won in 2004. You can see we tend to struggle in ODI cricket. I think the bright spots in the last two-three years have been in Test cricket.”
Holder believes that efforts should be made to popularise Test cricket among youngsters.
“If you ask any great player in the world, they say ‘if you want to learn to play the game, play Test cricket, play longer format cricket’. So I think that’s something we urge a little more to the players in the Caribbean to understand.”
(With PTI inputs)