By Sa’adi Thawfeeq
Captain Jason Holder said that the very presence of West Indies legend Sir Garfield Sobers to witness the second Test against Sri Lanka starting at the P Sara Oval on Thursday will certainly inspire his team to win and square the two-match series.
“I can tell you for sure the guys are upbeat for the second Test match. It’s a must win game for us to at least level the series. The guys know the situation of the series. It’s all up to us to come into this series for this last test match, perform and get 20 wickets,” said Holder at the pre-match press conference.
“The batsmen need to give us a chance to get 20 wickets. In the last game we only got one opportunity with the ball and we only got 10 wickets. Hopefully we can put some runs on the board in the second Test.
“I personally saw Sir Garry yesterday in the hotel lobby. It was inspiring to see him come all this way just to watch the series. I’m sure most of the guys know of his presence and know that he’s here. I hope we can go ahead in this Test match and win it for him,” he said.
Sir Garry Sobers, arguably the greatest all-rounder the game has produced will be a guest of Sri Lanka Cricket during the Test match which is being played for the Sobers-Tissera trophy.
Michael Tissera and Sobers two former captains of their respective countries after whom the trophy is named will be present during the toss where a gold coin will be used to mark the occasion.
Poor fielding was West Indies’ bane as they spilled five catches in the Galle Test and Holder is determined to put it right here.
“In the last few days we’ve done a lot of analyzing. We’ve looked at a lot of footage. We’ve come in the practice sessions in the last few days and paid a lot of attention to our fielding,” said Holder.
“Hopefully the batsmen can get acclimatised to these conditions at the P Sara. We’ve done a little bit more thinking and talking. Hopefully we can put things right in this Test match. We fell down in the field so that’s one area that we’ve really paid attention to in the last few days.
“From my point of view practice does a lot for it. When you get in the habit of doing something repeatedly it becomes the norm. That’s something we try to stress in the dressing room. If you practice properly and do it in a sense that fits a game scenario. We try to replicate a match scenario in our fielding drills. We’ve picked up the volume of our fielding over the last few days, so hopefully we’ll be in better stead for this game,” he said.
Left-arm spinner Rangana Herath was the destroyer of the West Indies batting in both innings with a match haul of ten wickets.
“We’ve got to be selective and just to play to your personal game plan. I just said to the guys, “Be positive, but be selective.” Once you’re selective and you’re patient enough you will get runs. It’s all about occupying the crease and spending as much time as possible. Once you’re selective you can get runs off any bowler,” said Holder.
The reporting of Marlon Samuels as an off-spin bowler Holder said will not affect the team or the player.
“I don’t think his role changes. He’s Marlon Samuels – top order batsman and off-spinner,” said Holder.
West Indies media manager Phil Spooner confirmed that Samuels was eligible to bowl in the match as the testing has to be done only within 14 days.