WI look to level ODI series
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (CMC):
New One-day international (ODI) captain Jason Holders says the West Indies urgently needs to address a problem of retaining momentum as they prepare to battle South Africa in the second ODI here today.
West Indies relinquished favourable positions on several occasions to lose the rain-hit opening ODI against South Africa by 61 runs under the Duckworth/Lewis method Friday.
Windies had the Proteas reeling at 16 for two in the fifth over only for A. B. de Villiers to revive the innings by anchoring two excellent stands and on the chase the Caribbean men faltered after an enterprising 51-run opening stand.
"I was disappointed. We lost wickets in clusters which didn't help the cause," declared Holder following his first outing as leader of the team.
"We were in pretty decent positions but every time we got ourselves a little bit of momentum we just fell away with the wicket."
Holder suggested that the West Indies would attempt to address the problem as part of their preparations for the second ODI at New Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.
"So I think it is a serious area we need to address," said the young captain who was credited for effectively rotating his bowlers causing South Africa to lose five wickets for 61 runs in the first ODI.
"Once we address that we would be in a much better position for the second one day".
West Indies are likely to replace Leon Johnson with Lendl Simmons who was not included in the side for the opening fixture.
Johnson was drafted in to bat at No. 3 in Durban but was out for a duck.
Holder's men are expected to rely on flamboyant opener Chris Gayle to give them momentum after he cut loose again with 41 off 24 balls in the first ODI.
But the captain, while justifying the reliance on Gayle, says he is confident that other batsmen are capable of stepping up.
"We have quite capable batsmen. Marlon Samuels has done well for us over the past two years. We have got Dwayne Smith who has been in rich form coming off the last tour of India," he said.
"So we have got guys who are capable of scoring runs but at this present time Chris seems to be in a very good form so Chris has to be depended on in terms of taking up the mantle".
West Indies cannot boast an impressive record at Johannesburg, winning two out of the eight matches played on the ground.
Their last victory at Wanderers was in 1993 when they defeated Pakistan by five wickets.