West Indies Captain Jason Holder is backing his in-form players to deliver the goods today when they open the 2016 Day/Night Tri-Nations 50-Over Tournament against South Africa at the Guyana National Stadium, Providence.
The 24-year-old Barbadian pacer said in a pre-match interview yesterday that he wants his players to execute well throughout the competition, adding that the momentum from the World Cup T20 win a few months ago, coupled with the return of a few players like off-spinner Sunil Narine and hard-hitting batsman Kieron Pollard, will add to the arsenal.
“I think we’ve got pretty good chances. We have a good squad. A lot of the guys did well in the T20 squad which won the World Cup and they carried the good form from the IPL. We got Carlos Brathwaite, we got Marlon Samuels who’s rearing and ready to go and we’ve got Narine who comes back after problems with his action, also a guy like Pollard who I’m sure has a statement to make, so we’re looking forward to a good series,” Holder said.
Holder, who is two wickets short of 50 wickets in One Day Internationals (ODI) said the mood is very good in the host’s camp and the players are raring to go despite
not performing well in the recent practice matches.
“Everyone is happy for the series,” he enthused. “We had a bit of a break between the last ODI series and this one so the guys are ready to go. We didn’t have our full complement of players in the squad during the practice game.
“It’s very important everyone has their own plans, what I stress with the guys is execution because you can plan but when you come on the field you need to execute. We have world class bowlers.” He counted himself, Carlos Brathwaite and Narine, who he called, “a world beater, so I’m very confident.”
Holder added that while his opponents usually tend to go for the kill with their pacers, he is wary of their spinners and singled out the uncapped left-arm orthodox spinner Tabraiz Shamsi who he said will be key in the South Africans’ bowling unit along with leg-spinner Imran Tahir.
“We haven’t had the results we have been looking for in the past, it boils down to execution because we put ourselves in position to win games but just weren’t able to
get over the line. We have been talking about that. We need to be calm under pressure because we will be put under pressure, but it’s just to remain calm and execute plans.”
Meanwhile, all-rounder Brathwaite said he’s looking to give “100 percent” for his team, adding that the West Indies will look to stick to the basics and use the conditions as well as adapting to the situation in order to come out on top today.
“It’s very important. [It is the] first series since the World T20 win. We are on still on a high after the win and hopefully it can spread over to the other formats. That’s our intention to win each and every game. We’ll give it our best and once results fall into place we’ll put smiles on the faces of the Caribbean people,” Brathwaite said.
The first ball is expected to bowl off at 13:00hrs today
West Indies full squad – Jason Holder (Captain), Sulieman Benn, Carlos Brathwaite, Darren Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Johnson Charles, Andre Fletcher, Shannon Gabriel, Sunil Narine, Ashley Nurse, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Marlon Samuels, and Jerome Taylor
South Africa Squad – AB de Villiers (Captain), Kyle Abbott, Hashim Amla, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock (wicketkeeper), Jean-Paul Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, Morne Morkel, Chris Morris, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Kagiso Rabada, Rilee Rossouw, Tabraiz Shamsi