West Indies might currently be seventh in the World Test Championship (WTC) standings, staring at a seventh defeat this cycle, but Jason Holder is of the opinion that this current crop of players are talented and are capable of achieving special things, and all they need is abundance of time and opportunities to prove their worth.
The Windies slipped to a 87-run defeat in the first Test against South Africa at Centurion and though they are placed in a relatively better position in the second, a defeat seems inevitable. Should an ‘L’ come their way, it would mean back-to-back whitewashes in the ongoing cycle.
But despite the Windies having not been on the right end of the results, Holder has urged the management to show faith in the current crop of players, attesting that chopping and changing, will, if anything, lead to ‘worse results’.
"We have been a little bit slow, we've been a little bit inconsistent but I think we just need to support people," Holder said at the end of Day 2.
“You see the talent that we have in the dressing room. We've got Test hundreds from No. 1 down to down to No. 8, with the exception of Raymon [Reifer], who has just come in.
"We've got to have that patience and build a strong core group of players. The more we chop and change in cricket, the worse results we will probably get because we need to give people opportunity. The urge for me and everybody else within the group is just to keep getting the opportunities and taking them with both hands."
Holder, who on Day 2 kept the Windies’ hopes alive with a fighting unbeaten 81, further reiterated that individuals will settle and deliver only if they’re given enough support. The former skipper, who himself was once a victim of being written off too early, urged people to refrain from judging individuals prematurely and claimed that the key is ‘to stick behind your players’.
"Test cricket is a massive step up from first-class cricket. I think any individual needs time. We tend to critique people very quickly, which is fair, but people need an opportunity and people need time and support," he said.
"Once you have the support and good people around you then you will get the results. Sometimes we just get too critical, too fast, of people and we don't give them enough time to actually show what they're made of.
“It's hard in losing sides and sides that haven't had success. But more often than not, I think you need to stick behind your players, keep a strong pool of players together and back them."
As things stand, West Indies are behind in the game, with South Africa holding a 73-run lead with all 10 wickets intact, but Holder believes his side have it in them to turn the contest around, and backed the batters to put up a much-improved showing in the second dig.
“We will have some slow days but we are only day two of this Test match and I have no doubt our players can come in and show their worth and class in the second innings."