Pride, points top West Indies priority for final ODI vs Sri Lanka
KANDY, Sri Lanka (CMC):
In what has now become the norm in the lean years of West Indies cricket, skipper Jason Holder found himself repeating familiar phrases as he tried to sound positive ahead of the third and final one-day international (ODI) against Sri Lanka today.
With the series already gone following losses in the first two games in Colombo, West Indies, as usual, only have pride to play for, and like many of his predecessors, Holder told a media conference that that would be the main objective behind winning the contest at the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium.
"Our plans are simple. We just want to finish this series on a high," said Holder, who turned 24 on Thursday.
"Although the series has been lost, it is still important we salvage some pride, finish the series on a high, and win this last game."
He added: "There is rain around, so we will have to watch that, but once we get a chance to play, we will be giving all we got. We have left Colombo and came here to Kandy, so we hope the change will bring a better result."
At the R. Premadasa last week in the first ODI, West Indies crashed to a one-wicket loss in a tense affair after the game was reduced to 26 overs per side.
Similarly, in the second contest reduced to 38 overs at the same venue, West Indies were trounced by eight wickets, to concede the series.
The defeat means West Indies are yet to win an international match on tour after losing the Test series 2-0.
"Every match is important. We need to win tomorrow ... we are also looking at the bigger picture and every match has points attached to it. So we need to win to get points and looking to move up the rankings (ICC) table," he stressed.
In the last game, West Indies were hurt by Sri Lanka's top order in the form of Kusal Perera, who smashed 99, and Lahiru Thirimanne, who stroked an unbeaten 81.
To avoid a repeat, Holder said the bowling department needed to be more disciplined then it had been in Colombo.
"I still think we gave them too much width the entire game and weren't as disciplined as we should be with the ball," he pointed out.
SQUAD: Jason Holder (captain), Marlon Samuels, Johnson Charles, AndrÈ Fletcher, Darren Bravo, Jermaine Blackwood, Denesh Ramdin, AndrÈ Russell, Carlos Brathwaite, Devendra Bishoo, Jerome Taylor, Jonathan Carter, Ravi Rampaul, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine.