Holder must seek third-year charm

Wed, Jun 6, '18



The West Indies return for their white armoury after six months to take on Sri Lanka at the Queen’s Park Oval on Wednesday June 6 in the first Test of the three-match series. With Windies’ last home series win coming five years ago, then under the captaincy of Darren Sammy, current captain Jason Holder will be hoping to lead his team to the first of his reign. The West Indies will also be hunting a first Test match win since going one up against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo, October last year (2017), after a disappointing outing in New Zealand.

This visit will be Sri Lanka’s first to the Caribbean since the West Indies came back to draw the two-match series (1-1) in 2008. And although the Asians have been in rather impressive form, the last time they played away from the subcontinent they were dismissed 3-0 by South Africa.

Emphasis must be placed on these upcoming matches in an effort to put a definite end to what seems like a perpetual state of limbo which has been covering West Indies Cricket for over a decade. The position the West Indies find themselves in – a position of complacency, and one lacking external pressure because of familiarity – means that the upcoming series will only be as important as Holder leads his team to believe. And as the cricketing world has witnessed nations such as Pakistan and Bangladesh complete their transitions to becoming competitive teams, the people of the Caribbean would be well within their right to begin to ask of this crop of players to repay the faith which has been afforded them.

The core of this West Indies team, along with their then new captain, has been together for over two years. And though they had a year-long wait for their first Test win, they managed four wins during the following year. Hence, the importance of this third year. For continued progression the team must now move on to the next step — winning complete series. The still-patient West Indies fans can take heart though in one of the most successful transitions in recent years — the New Zealand Test team.