Holding slams 'irresponsible' WI batting
Former fast bowler Michael Holding was scathing in his criticism of West Indies, calling the team's batting against India "reckless and irresponsible". West Indies were shot out for 182 inside 45 overs, paving the way for their third defeat in five matches, and Holding did not hold back on voicing his displeasure at the batsmen, particularly Chris Gayle.
In addition to contributing to a mix-up that led to Marlon Samuels being run out, Gayle offered as many as three catching opportunities during his 27-ball 21, constantly attempting expansive strokes against the India quicks, before he was finally bounced out by Mohammed Shami, forcing strong words from Holding.
"There was a lot of batting and no thinking," Holding said on Match Point, ESPNcricinfo's match analysis show. "Shami has just come back from injury and it's the last ball of his fifth over. He is bowling well, so all you need to do is just wait. Gayle had tried pulling a short ball earlier, it didn't work, but then he goes and tries the same shot again. He needs to think a little about what's happening.
"There were a lot of overs to go. Even if Gayle bats, say, 35 overs, he has a great chance of getting a huge score. The strokeplay from the batsmen was just reckless and irresponsible cricket. They were not using their brains. They are just playing cricket, and not thinking about their cricket."
Holding was pleased with the performance of West Indies' bowlers, who made India sweat during their chase, but was left confused by the tactic of using Samuels instead of Jerome Taylor - who had 2 for 33 from eight overs - towards the end, which he felt was a clear sign of throwing in the towel.
"I'm not too sure about the last few overs. Why did Samuels bowl? Jerome Taylor, West Indies' best bowler, still had two overs left. The last five-six overs, West Indies seemed like they just gave up. It's like they told India 'The game is yours'.
"I simply can't make sense of it. The sixth wicket fell in the 30th over. Why did Taylor not bowl those two overs? There was every chance West Indies could have gotten another two wickets and get right into the tail. I'm not too sure about the approach. Whose idea was it to bring Samuels? You didn't need to use him at all.
"Soon after he was brought on, it was obvious the game wouldn't go too far. India just kept pushing for singles, which was what they needed. You cannot use someone like Samuels to put pressure on them. You've got to use your best bowlers. I don't quite understand that tactic or whose idea it was. "