10:51 PM ETAishwarya KumarESPN.com CloseFollow on TwitterFacebookTwitterFacebook MessengerPinterestEmailprint
In the sixth over of India’s chase in the third ODI in Port of Spain, Virat Kohli, batting on 11, was surprised by a Keemo Paul delivery that went past him as he tried to make room to play on the leg side and caught an inside edge. Behind the stumps, Shai Hope couldn’t get enough of his gloves on the ball and dropped it. Kohli went on to score an unbeaten 114 and clinch the match for India. It was a chance that Jason Holder rued at the end of the match.
“We have got to hold our chances and we didn’t hold them today. [Kohli] made us pay for it,” Holder said at the press conference. “Credit to him he batted really well and he won the game for India in the end.
“They got off to a really good start and so did we. I think it was a really, really good wicket for cricket. Conditions got a little tougher in the afternoon after the rain fell. The ball was a bit wet and the outfield was obviously very wet, too. It didn’t work for us today.”
Before the match, Carlos Brathwaite had said that the team wasn’t playing as badly as results suggested and the problem for the side came down to executing the critical moments. That held true in the third ODI, too. There were times, with bat and ball, when West Indies looked like they had the upper hand. Like that opening stand of 115 in nearly 11 overs between Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis, and Fabien Allen’s double-strike in the 13th over to dismiss Rishabh Pant and Shikhar Dhawan. But they failed to build on the big moments.
“From T20s to the last ODI here, we have played some pretty decent cricket in patches, it is just a matter for us to put it together more often than not and that’s where we continue to let ourselves down,” Holder said.
“It’s just a matter for us to continue to build, you know. I keep saying it’s a matter for us to really seize the key moments of the game and play those key moments a little bit better than we have been in the past.”
Holder said there were a lot of individual performances – positives – that the team could build on going into the Test series and beyond.
“The way Chris played today, Evin Lewis too showed a lot of form. The bowlers had a reasonable time too. The last game I thought we bowled really, really well,” he said. “Today we were off a little bit, but generally our bowling has led us in the last couple of games.
“Nicholas Pooran continues to show what he can produce here at this level. Every single batter today really put their hands up today. I was really, really pleased how we batted in the situation after the rain break. In the past we lost too many wickets and not being able to – or struggled to – bat, and I think we handled the situation very well today and put ourselves in a really good situation in the halfway stage, you know. Just unfortunate we weren’t able to defend it but when you don’t hold your chances these things happen.”
With the Test series beginning on August 22, Holder urged the side to carry the momentum from their 2-1 series win over England earlier this year. An additional incentive for the side will be the points in the World Test Championship.
“We’ve got a few days off. This is a fresh group, different faces coming in to the Test squad. It’s a matter for us to continue doing the good work we have been doing in Test cricket in the last two-three years,” he said. “The first series we had this year was a success. I know the guys would be ready to go against India here in this second series of the year.
“Obviously with the Test championship around it’s something I look forward to play. I think the guys are up for it. We started really well this year beating England at home and you know we had some brilliant individual performances. It’s just a matter for us to build. The Test championships are two years away, we have a lot of cricket to play in the next two years, I think every series will be important. Each and every moment in the series will be important.”