Skipper Holder urges underperforming West Indies to improve
GROS ISLET, South Africa (CMC):
Captain Jason Holder has minced no words in his assessment of West Indies' stunning defeat to minnows Afghanistan, describing the performance as "poor" and calling on his embattled side to change their mental approach for today's must-win encounter.
The Caribbean side produced a dreadful performance in Friday's opening One-Day International at the Darren Sammy National Stadium, crashing to a shocking 63-run defeat to the ICC associate nation.
Chasing a modest 213 for victory, West Indies were embarrassingly bundled out for 149, with 18-year-old leg-spinner Rashid Khan picking up seven for 18 - the fourth-best figures in ODI history.
"I think Afghanistan played better cricket and they deserved to win the game," Holder said in a frank interview.
"When we look back on our performances, I don't think we were as energetic as we wanted to be in the field. We lapsed a bit in the end. I felt the bowlers did a reasonable job, but when we batted, we were, in no uncertain words, poor.
"We've got to be better as international cricketers. I just felt we didn't show that intent upfront. I think the pitch was a very good pitch. It was not one that hampered stroke-play, so I think we all have to be accountable for our actions as batsmen, and now going forward into this game on Sunday - a must-win game - we just need to put things right."
Holder said it was clear his players needed to make adjustments to their mental approach.
"It's more of a mindset. I think we've got to adjust our minds to the fact we are playing a very important series against Afghanistan," the Barbadian all-rounder explained.
"I think we just lacked energy at many stages of the game, especially in the field, and it's something we've been talking about in the dressing room for a while, so I think if we can improve our attitudes and body language on the field - look more alive during the innings - I think that would go a long way and then, obviously, we can transcend that into our batting."
He added: "The intent wasn't there when we batted. I think we can put the Afghans under a little more pressure when they bowl to us and just try to stamp our authority on the game."