West Indies captain Jason Holder was ruled out of the first Test against India at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot due to an ankle injury. And according to the Windies fielding coach Nic Pothas, Holder was carrying the pain and injury from the team’s preceding training camp in Dubai.
“I am not in a position to discuss Jason’s injury but he felt something in Dubai in our pre-season camp. Obviously it has not settled down as much as he or the medical staff would have liked. He will be monitored on a daily basis and we will wait and see how that pans out,” said Pothas, who has also worked with Sri Lanka.
The West Indies had trained in Dubai for a week before coming to India. Missing out Holder from the line-up was a big blow to the visitors as he is handy with both bat and ball.
The team struggled on Day One with India reaching a commanding 364 for four.
“But more importantly on the day (Day One) itself, I think we could have probably started the day a little bit better and having said that Prithvi (Shaw) played really well early on, we probably did not execute as well as we would have liked on the plans but we dragged the game back very well,” said the South African. In the absence of Kemar Roach, pacer Shannon Gabriel was the standout bowler while the rest of the West Indies attack looked ordinary.
“Shannon has had a fantastic year, through the series against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka he bowled quick. But we know that Shannon Gabriel can bowl quick, but the most exciting part for me was at the back end of the day he was still getting it up to 145 kilometres an hour, towards the end of a very hot day on a pretty docile wicket,” he said.
When asked to comment on Shaw’s hundred on debut, Pothas said, “He is obviously a very exciting prospect for the future. But I think it would be a mess of me to make a judgement call on a very good young cricketer having seen him play only once. But certainly on today’s performance, hats off to him.” He also defended the field placements of stand-in skipper Kraigg Brathwaite, who opened the field quite early in the game.
“You getting a spinner coming on in the first innings in the first day of the Test match is pretty new. He is not going to be spinning it past the outside edge of the bat. You put two batters in who were scoring pretty freely, it is a game of chess. You do not want the game to run away from you early in a Test match. I thought Kraigg did fantastically well today. I think I have also learnt having played against India a lot, Virat (Kohli) would do something pretty similar. It is tough conditions and what you do not want is to have a day that goes in excess of 400 or 420 because you keep fielders in attacking positions for too long.”
(With PTI inputs)