For a long time after West Indies had crashed to their biggest defeat to India at home, a spectator couldn’t stop admonishing the home team from the stands. From Jason Holder to coach Phil Simmons, everybody in the West Indies camp seemed to keep quiet and just listen. To the fan, the loss epitomised how the West Indies Test team had gone from bad to worse in recent years.
Linden Richards, one of the local umpires and an avowed fan, was hoping West Indies would take the game to the fifth day at least. “It’s about pride. I was hoping the boys would show some of it but I was particularly disappointed with Marlon Samuels. He made a fifty but that was just for show. If he wanted to save the team, he should have come up with better defence than that,” he said.
Reactions have ranged from disappointment to anger after West Indies’ innings loss here. And Holder knows that they only made their case worse by not putting up a fight in bowling or batting. “We have to focus on what we have to do. Every day you turn up to do a job. Everybody may not be pleased with what you do. Sometimes you do well and still they are not pleased. Sometimes you don’t do well and they are pleased. We play for the fans but everyday it can’t go our way,” Holder said after the loss.
Holder’s biggest problem has been a team without big names. While most of the stars are away playing the Caribbean Premier League, Jerome Taylor, an effective pacer, retired from Test cricket just before the series. Further damage was inflicted when wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin was not included in the side. Those two decisions left the team with three experienced batsmen --- Kraigg Brathwaite, Samuels and Darren Bravo.
West Indies are slipping but Holder insists they be given time. “It’s a young team and it’s important we enjoy our cricket as much as possible. We haven’t been able to bat long enough, every time we are batting we are trying to rebuild and then we give away our wickets. We need to knuckle down a little bit and occupy the crease a bit more,” he said.
The loss may have been more exacting on the younger players in the team but Holder believes pride will help them bounce back. “I think it boils down to personal pride. Roston (Chase), Shane (Dowrich), (Rajendra) Chandrika, myself, (Jermaine) Blackwood are quite young players. We are all looking to make a mark in the international circuit. For us it’s just personal glory, personal pride. Just execute and performing well you know, having a good Test career. That’s what each person coming to Test cricket is looking to do. I think all of us want to do that. I think we need to come up with a strong collective effort,” said Holder.