West Indies news September 15, 2015

Holder as captain an 'excellent choice' - Lara

ESPNcricinfo staff

Brian Lara: "Holder is very eloquent and big in stature and he reminds me of another version of Clive Lloyd" © Getty Images

Former West Indies batsman Brian Lara has come out in support of Jason Holder as captain of the Test team, welcoming his appointment as an "excellent choice".

Holder, 23, is West Indies' second-youngest Test captain, and has played just eight Tests. He also took over the ODI captaincy last December at a similarly inexperienced stage in his 50-over career, with only 21 matches behind him, but Lara believed that if backed properly by the WICB, Holder could thrive in the role for years to come.

"I saw the young man while working during the World Cup in Australia, and the pressure that he came under, personally with his bowling and even as a captain, and the way he handled it," Lara told Stabroeknews. "He is very eloquent and big in stature and he reminds me of another version of a Clive Lloyd.

"I have a lot of belief in the fact that he can do well if he gets the support from the players but more importantly from his employers, the West Indies Cricket Board."

West Indies endured a difficult World Cup, which they exited at the quarter-final stage, but Holder showed evidence of his leadership skills during the tournament, shouldering the responsibility of bowling in difficult situations - such as the final over against a rampaging AB de Villiers - and batting with maturity.

In the home Tests that followed, the same qualities came to the fore, particularly with the bat, as shown by a match-saving century against England in Antigua, and an unbeaten 82 against Australia in Jamaica.

Lara, who himself led West Indies in 47 Tests, felt that Holder had already showed his mettle through such tests, and that having several young players in the team could only bode well for the future.

"I still believe we are still in the same mind-set as we were 10, 15, 20 years ago which is not good for West Indies cricket," Lara said. "I hope they can change that a bit, and the likes of [chief selector] Lloyd being around and some younger faces being around, lends to the fact that there might be something on the horizon."

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