Performances have to speak, warns skipper Holder

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BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Apr 29, CMC – West Indies captain Jason Holder on Saturday sent a timely reminder to his struggling squad that “performances have to speak” or they risk losing their place in the side.
Speaking ahead of the pivotal second Test against Pakistan at Kensington Oval starting Sunday, Holder said positive team results came only through strong individual performances, and these were important in helping players cement their spots.
“At the end of the day, the onus is on us, this playing group here,” said the all-rounder, who has played 21 Tests since making his debut three years ago.
“We’re obviously quite young and inexperienced and it’s important for us now to solidify our places in the West Indies team and do what we are expected to do which is perform.
“Performances have to speak. The only way we can get good results is if we perform. If you don’t perform then you probably won’t hold your place in the side.
“I’m just urging the guys to stick together, rally around one another and make sure we get our performances going in the right direction.”
West Indies enter the second Test against the backdrop of a mediocre performance in the opening match at Sabina Park, where they batted poorly and then produced a sloppy effort in the field, to lose by seven wickets on the final day.
Holder was one of three batsmen to get half-centuries in the first innings as West Indies rallied from 71 for five after lunch on the opening day to 286 all out.
However, a batting meltdown in the second innings saw them collapse for a paltry 152 on the final day, leaving Pakistan with a mere 32 runs for victory.
The 25-year-old Holder said players needed to assume personal responsibility for their performances and make them count.
“I can only control what I can control. At the end of the day, each and every individual has to go and perform and do what is required of them,” he pointed out.
“I can’t control their performances, the only thing I can do is give them support, give them all the resources they need to execute their plans. The rest is left down to them.”
He added: “I’ve been trying to keep my performances going. I’ve been feeling good with the bat, been doing reasonably well with the ball so it’s just about chipping out a few more wickets and making sure when I get my chance with the bat I make it count.”
Holder said he had been also trying to reinforce to players the importance of giving more in training, hoping this translates into performances on match day.
“One of the things we have talked about is our work ethic. We’ve tried to do a little bit more. The only thing we can do is top up on our fielding and make sure we give ourselves the best chance of taking every chance we are provided with,” he said, adding the squad had been giving extra in fielding drills and other performance areas.
“These are the type of changes I’ve tried to implement with the guys, just giving that effort. I think effort goes a long way and I think once you make an effort to change things in practice, it will transcend into the game.”

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