Patience with rookie batting lineup critical warns Holder

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Inexperienced left-hander Kyle Mayers failed in both innings against South Africa.

GROS ISLET, St Lucia – Former captain Jason Holder has urged patience with West Indies’ “inexperienced” batting lineup in the wake of the heavy innings defeat against South Africa last weekend, arguing they needed time to adapt to different conditions and oppositions.

The top-ranked Test all-rounder pointed out that while several of the newer players had excelled in the recent series, South Africa presented a different type of challenge, to which they needed to adjust to excel.

Further, Holder noted even though the experienced likes of Roston Chase, Shai Hope, and Kieran Powell had returned to the side, they also required time to become re-integrated.

“You get different oppositions that suit different styles and different persons’ games,” the 29-year-old told an online media conference.

“Some persons thrive against the Bangladeshis, which are more subcontinent spin bowling-friendly attacks, some persons like pace and bounce [with] the ball coming on, and that’s where you get a team coming together. 

“It’s not everyone who’s going to go out there every day and perform, but the thing that you would like would be to have a little more consistency and not having these massive imbalances when you get performances such as the one we had with our bat [in the first Test].”

He continued: “We must understand we’ve got a relatively inexperienced batting lineup. You’ve got (Nkrumah) Bonner who’s into his [fifth] Test match, similarly with (Kyle) Mayers, [and] Joshua Da Silva only about five [Tests] or less.

“So we’ve got pretty much the majority of our top order who are relatively inexperienced. You only have Kraigg (Brathwaite), who’s been around for a while.

“Powell [is] now coming back into the side, and he came back in due to a concussion with Bonner, so it’s hard on him in that circumstance, and Roston is coming back into the side after a little while too. 

“So the guys are now looking to re-engage themselves into the Test arena and some looking to engage themselves into the Test arena for the very first time.”

Opting to bat first on a fast track, West Indies were routed for 97 in their first innings on last Friday’s opening day of the first Test, their lowest-ever total against South Africa.

And they fared a little better in the second innings, dismissed for 162 to crash to an innings and 63-run defeat inside the first session of the third day at the Daren Sammy National Stadium.

Bonner and Mayers, who have scored heavily since making their debuts earlier this year, both failed along with Da Silva, while Hope’s much-anticipated return ended in disappointment with the stylish right-hander struggling with scores of 15 and 12.

“All of these will add up in the grand scheme of things, and we’ve got to be a little more patient when it comes to this batting lineup,” Holder stressed.

“We’ve seen what they can produce, we’ve seen the performances we’ve had in the recent past, but yes, when we meet different oppositions, we’ve got to find ways to adjust and adjust quickly, and that’s a challenge for inexperienced players – how quickly can you adjust to the new challenge.

“We’ve had lengthy discussions over the last couple of days about how we can turn things around and things we can implement into this game and in the future. 

“I would be a little more patient with them, and I believe we should see some better performances coming up against higher-ranked opposition and opposition we don’t play against too often.

West Indies take on South Africa in the decisive second Test at the same venue beginning here Friday.

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