Even with the long awaited test championship that is now taking some form, there are still doubts about the future of five-day cricket. With a T20 league practically every month of the year, with franchises willing to pay obscene amounts for integral talents, the fears of the players who choose the club instead of the country are no longer rooted in an underground reality. The West Indies may struggle more with this, but their captain Jason Holder has seen positive signals from the next generation.
"Just a couple of days ago, we were sitting in the dressing room to chat as part of a group, for me, personally, it's a matter of joy and pride to play test cricket," Holder said at the press conference. prior to the game in Rajkot.
"Of the three formats, the test is my favorite format and it was shocking to me but it was really good to see most, if not all, of the same thing, and in recent chats also around the CPL and even before the CPL, the number of young players who are eager to play the test cricket is remarkable.
"There has been a madness to the fact that the test cricket is dead all over the world, but if you have players Young people like the Caribbean who are really looking forward and really want to play a test match for the West Indies, if that goes around the world, I am sure that the test cricket will be here for a long time. Personally again, it is the best format. It's a test of character and to be successful at this stage, it says a lot about your character and says a lot about yourself as a person. "
That wish will be useful as the West Indies, ranked No. 8, face the India, which is at the top of the table and are experts in winning at home, Holder felt there were ways to close that gap and he has high hopes that his team will do so, if they followed a few simple steps
. our hitters have to have a game plan and know how they want to score, and how they want to race against this quality attack in their own backyard. One of the things I talked about is patience. We have to be patient, but not only that, we have to take advantage of any loose delivery or any opportunity to score. I think looking to score is obvious and should be one of our main game plans. Whenever you play any cricket game, you must be positive and have runs on the board. "Do not be reckless, but you must have a clear game plan on how you will face the Indian attack."
The West Indies arrive in India after a successful local season: they beat Bangladesh 2-0 and drew with Sri Lanka 1-1, but the last time they won a series here was in 1983. Holder emphasized that his greater focus was playing good cricket, "because that's the only thing we have under our control," but he put the responsibility of his batting lineup to do what needs to be done.
And in that sense, Kraigg Brathwaite, who is among the top five career starters in the last two years, Shai Hope, who helped throw one of the greatest victories ever tested in the West Indies last year at Headingley, and Roston Chase, who challenged India in 2016 and almost did the same with Pakistan last year, becomes crucial.
"These are the guys we'll be looking for to take our batting," Holder said. "The guys like Kraigg Brathwaite, who has been around for a long time and has been successful like us all and I'm sure that Roston and Shai probably they had a period of ups and downs in recent months, but they will seek to change things. "We will rely on them, Shane Dowrich and I, who have also done well",
Only five West Indian team members have played cricket Test in India: Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Shannon Gabriel, Kemar Roach and Devendra Bishoo and one of them is out of the question for Rajkot, but Holder felt there was a way to overcome that disadvantage.
Sure that many of the guys have had random conversations with players that I've traveled here before. Not just past West Indian players, but players from around the world in general. The luxury we have is that we just had the CPL that obviously has international players. From the Barbados Tridents team we had Steven Smith and I am sure that at some point the players relied on them to get guidance and experience on how to be successful in Indian conditions. It is about sharing as much information as possible. "Obviously, we also see many images at this time and it's about choosing the parts and pieces we need to make a complete game plan."