New Zealand v West Indies, World Cup 2015, 4th quarter-final, Wellington March 21, 2015

'We've never been consistent' - Holder

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Jason Holder has arguably had the toughest gig in this World Cup. He's only 23 and was given the West Indies ODI captaincy suddenly at the start of the year, with little time to shape a squad without Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine to his style of leadership. He then lost Darren Bravo to injury and had to cope with the uncertainty surrounding Chris Gayle's fitness. And then there was the issue of performance, with West Indies losing heavily to Ireland, South Africa and India in the group stage, before another comprehensive defeat to New Zealand in the quarter-final ended his campaign.

"Me personally, I've taken a lot you know, been through a lot, there's been a lot of criticism, left right and centre, all over the place," Holder said, when asked what he will take away from the World Cup. "I'm proud of the way I stood up. I'm not one to shy away from responsibility or dip my head when things get tough. I expected a tough job when I accepted the captaincy.

"No doubt it's been a tough time but we've had some very good times and I've learned a lot in how to manage our players, just trying to get the best out of our players, you know. It's been a challenge yes, but one I truly enjoyed."

Holder put the immediate cause of West Indies' exit - Martin Guptill making 237, New Zealand racking up 393 - down to missed opportunities in the field and poor lengths from the bowlers. Guptill was dropped by Marlon Samuels on 4, and he went on to spearhead a surge that cost West Indies 206 runs in the last 15 overs.

"It was obviously a good innings, he really took the game away from us," Holder said. "What was good about his innings was he batted straight through. Having said that we put him down early and we had a few half-chances that we probably could have taken. I think we just need to respond well when bowling at the death. We didn't land our yorkers and we paid for it today.

"We were inconsistent when we bowled. With our lengths upfront, thought we were a bit too full, and at the back end we didn't land our yorkers. That's just it. I don't think we need to over-analyse things at this point of time.

"If we were too short the ball just sat up … but in terms of the right length on the pitch, it had to be that in-between length and also vary your pace because it was a good pitch, in my opinion."

When asked about the larger picture - Holder began his captaincy tenure with a 4-1 defeat in South Africa - he put West Indies' troubles down to inconsistency. "We've had some good games, we've had some bad games, but we've never been consistent. Going forward we need to be a lot more consistent that we are at the moment."

The road ahead for West Indies doesn't contain one-day internationals until the end of the year, when they play Sri Lanka, so Holder will have time to take a break from the captaincy - Denesh Ramdin is in charge of the side for Tests - as West Indies regroup under a new coach Phil Simmons.

He said the team had been on the road for a long time and could do with some much-needed rest and recuperation before the home Tests against England.

"The guys have put their bodies on the line for the last four months. We've been away from our families for four months," he said. "I think the first thing to do is just refresh a bit at home. We just have a few days at home before the training camp for the England series. I think that break will be well deserved. It will do well for a lot of the guys. Just need to refresh, come back strong against England. We don't have ODI cricket until the end of the year against Sri Lanka so we have time to make some changes, or try to fix problems that we have."

It is unlikely that Holder will face as difficult a challenge in the near future as the one he has just endured. He hasn't always been in control on the field, but he comes across as a calm and measured individual - a bowler with obvious batting talent - and West Indies will hope that he is stronger for the experience.

George Binoy is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ashok on March 23, 2015, 22:36 GMT

    Last time T20 cup were won by WI because there was team work, but not this time... Also there is no Narine and pollard...

  • Dummy4 on March 23, 2015, 14:24 GMT

    Lloyd has made an excellent choice by naming Holder captain of the team; he has the work ethics to become a good allrounder,posessing enough control to work with a variety of personalities who can help lift the team; There must be an accountability from the senior players regarding their commitment to WI cricket,it must happen fortwith. Lloyd must take the lead.Phil Simmons choice as coach is seen as part of the rebuilding at the players level, he will need to gain the players confidence before he wins their support.Simmons is an excellence coach from where I sit.[I am an ardent supporter] let the rebuilding continue. Special mention of Holder,Carter, Taylor needs to be lauded for his hard work ethics, his catches have gone to the ground too often. Let the rebuilding continue.

  • AB on March 23, 2015, 2:23 GMT

    WI were lucky to get into knockouts ...dey don't deserve that spot if v compare them wit IRE in dys WC2015 ...IRE hd two tough teams to beat ... but WI future is on dark side nw with they continue with same captain n same management... WI will not qualify for champions trophy this time coz they will loose almost everything in future wit same captain n there ranking will have v bad effect on it ...hopefully a new coach can change a bit

  • Praveen on March 22, 2015, 15:47 GMT

    Well they came, they saw, they hit and they were out.

    250 all out at 30.3 overs at more than the initial asking rate. This is probably the most ridiculous run chase ever. This match pretty much sums up the state of West Indies cricket. As Lara said it people just over a period of time were expecting the Marshalls, the Richards, the Laras, the Walshs to simply come out of no where without any vision or effort. I suppose every cricket lover would have the Windies as their favourite besides their national teams because of their history. Let's just hope their cricket gets redeemed.

  • Darrell on March 22, 2015, 10:09 GMT

    He`s only 24 so people should stop putting all the blame on his very young shoulders there`s guys at least 10-12 years older in their squad who should damn well accept some responsibilty. he will get get a lot better hes already a fine player. a captain can only do so much.

  • Dummy on March 22, 2015, 7:24 GMT

    One thing for Jason Holder is to never bowl in the final overs. I witnessed he was trying too much and as a result, the batsman took full advantage of it. Analysis shows they have given far too many in the power plays and overs 41-50. I think the new WI coach should address it. Their application is also so orthodox. They need to change their approach as well. Wish them all the best for their endeavors.

  • mujahid on March 22, 2015, 4:10 GMT

    I respect the comments of the experts on the loss of west Indies to New Zealand. We cant directly say that it is the failure of young Jason holder he did only what he can do, I go with his comments that Yes West indies team has not shown consistency on the field and poor decisions took like no proper and timely use of bowling management. I Still wonder why he has used part time bowlers when you have the regular bowlers. When Guptil is playing freely and fearless he would have used his regular bowlers using p[art time bowlers become like giving oxygen to the fire

  • Ali on March 22, 2015, 3:39 GMT

    Yes also WI bowling has been consitently bad ...

    you have 10 overs of Taylor - and then 40 overs to part /timers , batting allrounders, and not good enoughs, + 1 still learning (Holder) .

    10 overs from a genuine bowler .... 10 ....

    Bravo's bowling is as good as any specialist bowler... he would ahve made 20 good overs.. Rampaul's last 4 years in ODI (not tests) put him ahead of Boult, Southee, MJ, Styne, Broad, Anderson, that would make for 30 good overs .... Nikita Miller could make it 40 good overs ......

    And WI could have been chasing 250-290 ..... instead of 300-420 .........

    I don't think pollard was missed much.

  • Dummy4 on March 22, 2015, 3:30 GMT

    Holder is a great guy, talented and all with both bat and ball. the problem is the captaincy. i know a lot of persons saying that they picked the wrong squad, but the squad wasnt all that terrible. it was the handling of the troops on the field that was. taylor bowled well all tournament, so to holder but he just used the bowlers badly and set them poor fields. his decision not to use taylor when nz gave a sniff and bowling himself repeatedly at the death and the overuse of part timers are just a few of his captaincy blemishes. most of those losses came as a result of conceding and being demoralized by large scores. i like holder but i still dont think he should be captain.

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2015, 19:26 GMT

    Holder is so wrong. West Indies has been the most consistent team in the World Cup. Our openers have consistently failed. Our fielders have consistently dropped crucial catches. Our bowling at the end has been consistently hammered.The captaincy of the team has been poor throughout the competition. How did Holder arrive at his point that West Indies has not been consistent?What an exemplary innings by Martin Guptill Congratulations to the Kiwis. !! They will have to raise their game to beat the South Africans. The winners of their encounter will win the World Cup.

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