'In terms of the squad, I think everybody's upbeat for the occasion. Playing India is always a big game for West Indies, and we're looking forward to it. First we need to finish the campaign as best as we can. And our objective is to win all three games,' said Jason Holder before the India-West Indies game at the ICC World Cup 2019
Manchester: West Indies captain Jason Holder is targeting wining all the three remaining matches at the ICC World Cup 2019, starting with the “big game” against India on Thursday (June 27)
On Wednesday, Holder spoke to the media and spoke about the West Indies’ campaign so far in the World Cup 2019. He also talked about Chris Gayle reversing his ODI retirement. West Indies are almost out of contention for semi-finals as they have just three points from six matches.
Also read: Full text of Chris Gayle's press conference
Here is the full text of Holder’s press conference.
Question: West Indies-India tomorrow, how is the team looking? We know there's some injuries, Dre Russ (Andres Russell) is out, of course. But (Sunil) Ambris is here. Is he likely to be played tomorrow in opening? And how is Evin Lewis in terms of his fitness?
Jason Holder: Evin had a scan and nothing showed up. He trained today. I guess we'll make an assessment tomorrow morning and we'll see how he pulls up.
In terms of the squad, I think everybody's upbeat for the occasion. Playing India is always a big game for West Indies, and we're looking forward to it. First we need to finish the campaign as best as we can. And our objective is to win all three games.
Q: India has always been a good game for West Indies. When you look at how their trajectory is going, do you think that West Indies have it in them that they can actually go and win?
Holder: Yeah. I think at the start of this tournament we all match up, every single team. And most captains say that, play good cricket on any given day, anyone can beat anyone. And it's just a matter of us putting together a complete game. We've shown glimpses here and there what we can produce. And as a side we just haven't brought it together collectively more often than not. And it's hurt us in games before. So tomorrow is another opportunity for us to bring it all together and play a perfect game.
Q. What's it been like since you've had two defeats that have literally — the first one, with the ball against Bangladesh, one with the bat against New Zealand — what's it been — these are sort of campaign-destroying ending sort of defeats. How has the team dealt with it knowing that your chances of progressing now are very, very slight and based on so many other things? How have you managed?
Holder: It has something. It's been two crushing defeats. And we felt them drastically over the past couple of days. But it's a situation where learning must take place. I think it's significant for everybody just to draw on their own resources and look at themselves in the mirror and try to make sure that learning takes place.
And it's a matter of us just to keep going. There's no point to drop our heads. We've got three games left in this campaign and we've got to just win all three games.
Q: Since the ball has not swung or seemed quite significantly, do you think there's more incentive for bowling yorkers in these conditions?
Holder: They're pretty big fields. We played a few games on some massive fields and some massive square boundaries. If you put the grounds into context most of the guys have used the wicket quite nicely. If it's a situation where yorkers are required and you feel as though yorkers are giving the ball on that particular day, based on the conditions you go for it.
Having said that, length bowling has worked pretty well in this tournament so far. And guys who have also been good to execute yorkers have had success as well. I guess it depends on the venue and how the conditions play.
Q. There's been some tight results — Afghanistan against India included, your result against New Zealand, now Pakistan has New Zealand under the cosh. Do those sort of results give you more confidence going into your last three games, considering you're in must-win situations? And also, sorry, can you give me your general feelings about Chris Gayle's influence on the West Indies cricket setup?
Holder: Firstly, as I said, we've had some close games in our World Cup campaign so far. And it just shows with us playing a few more scenarios a bit better, who knows what the result could have been. We look back on the games that we've played and we definitely didn't seize crucial moments in certain games.
If you put it into perspective of the teams that are doing well, they're doing those good things and seizing crucial moments within the game. That's what's required in the tournament such as this one.
As it relates to Chris's (Gayle) impact on the squad, I think he's done a hell of a job, more so off the field and also on the field. And he's been obviously one who holds a presence in the dressing room. And the guys really look up to him and they shared a lot of knowledge over the past couple of weeks. He's been firm when he had to be firm and he's been honest. And I think honesty is something that should go a long way in any dressing room. And he's been good for us.
Q: You were looked upon as someone who would take West Indies cricket to greater heights and you started off pretty well in the tournament. Even before the tournament you had some outstanding wins. What went wrong?
Holder: As I said on numerous occasions, we just didn't take the crucial moments in previous games. We've had lots of close encounters. I think with the exception of the game where we were outplayed by England, I think all the other games we've been in them with a chance to win them, but we didn't seize crucial moments in those games.
Q: Question about all the young batsmen on your team — (Shimron) Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Darren (Bravo) played just one game — what are your impressions of what they've done, because they've been on and off in the batting order, had to move around for a bit because of the injuries and the rest of it?
Holder: Yeah, injuries have definitely plagued us. But I've been proud of them so far. I think for them it's just a matter for them to grasp batting on the international circuit. And I think Shai has done a reasonable job so far. Hety (Hetmyer) has shown glimpses of brilliance, as well as Nicholas (Pooran).
It's up to them to take it deeper. They've got to be the rock and soul for our team. And they've got to set up games and learn to close them out. And great young players are great players, full stop. They get themselves in, set themselves up and they go very, very big.
And a guy who has done that over the tournament is Kane Williamson. Just see the way how he goes about his business, he sets it up and goes big and bats down to the very, very end.
Q: It's my understanding that Chris Gayle has reversed his (ODI) retirement and is making himself available for the Test and ODI series against India in August in the West Indies. Can you shed some light on that?
Holder: Yeah, I was just updated by Phillip (Spooner) (media manager). He didn't really say anything in the dressing room. But, yeah, it's great and it's great for cricket. It's good to have Chris around, as I said before. He's got a lot to offer still, I believe. And hopefully his body can hold up. Hopefully he can be on the field a bit longer for West Indies.
Q: Did he say if that's going to be that last series?
Holder: I just found out as well, too. I guess I have to go downstairs and have a serious conversation with him. But, yeah, if he's dedicated to playing for West Indies any longer then I feel it's definitely going to benefit us having him around.
Q: With Dre Russ, did he decide that his body just couldn't take anymore, or did the doctors have to tell him that he just, he wouldn't get through a game?
Holder: It's a bit of both, I guess. It's a situation where he's playing through pain and it's gotten to a point where it's been a bit unbearable. And we just sat down with him and he's gone through all the relevant tests and conversations with the relevant personnel and that was just the decision we came up with.
Last Updated 7:20 PM IST