West Indies still in race for World Cup semis, insists Holder
Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) –
Jason Holder on Friday claimed his struggling West Indies are still in the hunt to qualify for the World Cup semi-finals ahead of their game against unbeaten New Zealand in Manchester.
Holder will be without injured all-rounder Andre Russell on Saturday, but the West Indies skipper is adamant his team shouldn't be counted out yet.
West Indies started the tournament by beating Pakistan in their opener but soon lost momentum with defeats to Australia, England and Bangladesh.
Another loss would effectively end their last four hopes, but Holder says it is just a matter of bringing their best game to the table against the Black Caps, a side who they out-played in a pre-tournament warm up last month.
"I think we still have a possible chance to qualify for the semi-finals, but we've just got to take it game by game," Holder told reporters at Old Trafford.
"This encounter with New Zealand is very important. We all know what's at stake and we just have to come and bring our 'A' game. It's as simple as that."
On Russell's fitness, Holder said he is definitely out of the weekend clash, but the rest of the squad in available for selection.
"We've still got a few niggles within the group. We're trying to manage niggles the best we possibly can," said Holder.
"I think one guy who probably may be definitely out tomorrow is Russell. I don't think he's fit enough to go tomorrow. But everybody else should be good to go."
Russell, 31, has been struggling with a chronic knee injury for the last five years.
West Indies lost a close game to Australia on June 6 and then failed to defend 321 against Bangladesh early this week.
Holder said the team, which skipped practice on Friday but went through a bonding excercise, have tried to talk among themselves in a bid to get their act together.
"We've had a few frank discussions within the dressing room to find ways in which we can improve on. I think all teams would get themselves in that situation at some point," Holder said.
"But, yeah, we've had some pretty good discussions over the last couple of days. And tomorrow is just a day to deliver."
West Indies had posted 421 in their warm up against the Black Caps in Bristol and Holder said the performance was a testament of his team's abilities.
"It just shows what we can produce. It's a situation where we've just got to pull on those resources, remember the things that we did in that game," he said.
? 2019 AFP