Windies Test skipper Jason Holder (Photo/ Jason Holder Instagram)
Windies Test skipper Jason Holder (Photo/ Jason Holder Instagram)

'Wisden Trophy is special to us, want to retain it', says Windies skipper Jason Holder

By Vishesh Roy | Updated: Jul 20, 2020 12:40 IST

New Delhi [India], July 20 (ANI): After winning the first Test against England in Southampton, West Indies is just one win/draw away from retaining the Wisden Trophy, and the skipper Jason Holder wants nothing less than to keep the "special" trophy.
In an exclusive interaction with ANI, the Windies skipper opened up about the motivation to pocket the Wisden Trophy, the challenge of abiding by the new rule of not using saliva on the ball, and what does he make of his side being rated as "underdogs".
"We are highly motivated to win every cricket series we play. The Wisden Trophy is obviously special to us, and being the current holders, we want to ensure that we maintain that," the number one all-rounder in the Test format said.
In the past ten matches between England and West Indies, the latter has managed to win more matches, still, many pundits called the Holder-led side "underdogs".
When asked about the same, the skipper seems unperturbed by such predictions. "We don't think much about history and what is said on the outside. We just want to focus on playing good cricket and continue to improve with every match and every series," he told ANI.
Ahead of this series, the International Cricket Council (ICC) had banned the use of saliva on the ball as a precautionary measure amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, players from both sides have taken to their job like fish to water and haven't been seen using saliva as much.
The Barbadian cricketer believes that it would take some time for the cricketers to get used to this new rule but with time, they will get used to it. "We will need to utilise the sweat to the best of our ability," he said.
The ongoing series between England and West Indies is the first international series to be played since March. All world sports, including cricket, had come to a halt in March due to the pandemic.
However, England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) and Cricket West Indies (CWI) somehow managed to schedule the series, and cricketing fans couldn't be happier. West Indies had landed in the UK in mid-June and all the players and staff underwent 14-day quarantine as a precautionary measure against the virus.
Holder said that the entire Windies camp was comfortable travelling to England as both ECB and CWI had taken care of safety measures.
"We had a lot of Zoom meetings between the players, CWI and the ECB prior to being presented with the decision to come on this tour. Throughout those discussions, we were assured and reassured on the protocol which would be in place. Based on the extensive measures, we were comfortable coming over and no player had to be forced," Holder said.
After the first win over England in the three-match series, the all-rounder had attained the best rating points for a West Indies bowler in two decades.
The Windies skipper picked up seven wickets in the first Test including a haul of six for 42 in the first innings and as a result, he is now placed on a career-best 862 rating points in the bowler's list, the best for any West Indies bowler since Courtney Walsh's tally of 866 in August 2000.
Holder has risen one spot to take the second position in the ICC Test bowling rankings. He also retained the 35th position among batsmen after the first Test and has also reached a career-best tally of 485 points (number one ranking) at the top of the all-rounders' list. (ANI)