Windies unpredictablity could make them ‘a difficult prospect’ at upcoming World Cup – Holder

Jason Holder

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Captain Jason Holder believes West Indies’ unpredictability will make them a difficult prospect at the upcoming ICC World Cup in England.

The Caribbean side, two-time winners of the competition, are currently ranked ninth in the international rankings and are not among the favourites to win the title.

However, Holder said the Windies’ recent performances would have caught the attention of opponents, especially with the way they batted and bowled in drawn 2-2 series against England.

“A lot of the teams see us as a dangerous side because they are a bit unsure about what we can produce on any given day,” Holder said.

“I just think what we have seen in the recent past has given us a lot of confidence and what we can achieve. It’s just a matter for us to go out there fearless and play.

“I think the beauty about what I have seen from our batsmen is that a lot of them are playing free. That’s the way we need everybody to play. That’s the way we get the best out of them. And our bowling, I think will get there as time rolls on, but there is definitely room for improvement.

“There is no better place to make a mark than in the World Cup. The event is seen as a significant tournament and no doubt they will be looking to get it done.”

Owing to their poor ranking, West Indies missed out on automatic qualification for the May 30 to July 14 show-piece, and were forced into the alternative qualifiers in Zimbabwe last year.

While not at their best, the Windies reached the final to secure their World Cup berth, before going down to eventual winners Afghanistan.

Holder said once his side continued to play consistently, there was optimism of a positive outcome at the World Cup.

“I think the format of the tournament reminds me a bit of the World Cup qualifiers we played in Zimbabwe,” he pointed out.

“We were a little unsure about what to expect. We knew very little about most of the opposition. In this World Cup, we are the underdogs, and during the qualifiers, we were seen as the favourites. It’s less pressure on us and we will need to play fearlessly, express ourselves and play the best we can play to win the tournament.

“I still think we have what it takes to win the World Cup. It’s just a matter of us bringing it all together on a consistent basis. It will be really competitive, looking at the totals in England in recent times, it’s been quite high-scoring, so we expect a great contest.”

West Indies will have one final ODI tour prior to the World Cup when they engage Bangladesh and hosts Ireland in a Tri-Nations Series in early May, and Holder said it was important they used the outing to finalise their preparations.

“Leading into the World Cup, I am sure we will make use of the tour of Ireland that comes prior and I think it will be our last opportunity to get some really good team combinations and the players getting accustomed to similar conditions in Ireland,” he said.

“Hopefully, we can start the World Cup well. It is important that you start these tournaments well and ease some of the pressure of yourself, as you get later down into the tournament.”