‘Still wide open’ - Holder warns Windies cricketers against complacency ahead of second Test
Windies captain Jason Holder says the Test series against England is very much open as both sides take the field today for the start of the second Test at Old Trafford in Manchester, England.
After a morale-boosting win in the first of three Tests, Holder is warning his team against complacency as the visiting Windies side seek to win their first-ever series against England in England since 1988.
Holder, who moved to second place in the ICC Test bowling rankings this week, says he is looking for more overall consistency from his side if they are to secure a very rare away-series win.
“There are still 10 days of cricket left,” he said. “It’s one day at a time for us because England are a very good cricket team and they have some world-class players. So we have our work cut out to win another game. I don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves. This group has done a great job, not only in this series, but for the last couple of years in terms of our results.”
The Windies will have lots of confidence playing at Old Trafford as the team spent the first two weeks of the tour in isolation at the ground, while playing two practice games.
Holder doesn’t believe the time spent in Old Trafford will give his team an advantage over England.
“Most of these England players have played here more than us, they are still in their backyard,” he said. “We had a couple of weeks here to prepare, but more or less, it’s still a level playing field, and England will still have the edge because they know the conditions a lot better than we do.”
The Windies are expected to name the same team that beat England by four wickets in Southampton, with opener John Campbell likely to retain his place after recovering from a foot injury from the first Test.
Holder is looking for the batsmen to capitalise on starts, as first innings will be crucial to the outcome of the game.
“We want the batters to convert because we got a few starts in the last Test, but we still did not get a hundred,” he said. “Our bowlers have been solid, and I just want them to remain patient. You want to capitalise on the first innings because it sets up the game and pretty much puts you in a position of security.”
Captain Joe Root has returned for England after missing the first Test because of the birth of his second child. They have also rested James Anderson and Mark Wood, and dropped batsman Joe Denly. Seamers Sam Curran and Ollie Robinson have been added to the squad.
The match bowls off today at 5 a.m. Jamaica time.