With England due to take on the West Indies in the picturesque Caribbean islands in what promises to be an entertaining series, the focus remains on the host. West Indies currently are placed in a very delicate situation as far as the ICC ODI Rankings are concerned. Due to being ranked low, they missed out from the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy berth, and that was considered an embarrassing episode.
A series loss here will just add to the misery as if they are ranked below the number 8 spot till 30th September this year, the Calypso Kings could even miss out from a direct entry for the 2019 World Cup. Ahead of the series, skipper Jason Holder spoke highly of his team and mentioned that he wasn’t underestimating England despite beating them to win the World T20 last year.
“The World T20 has gone,” Holder said. “We’ve celebrated that. It was a wonderful achievement a while back now. So it’s important for us to move on. Not to dwell on it – not forget it – but to move on and understand we need to improve our position in the ODI rankings and Test cricket. We need to qualify for the World Cup, that that is our goal,” he said.
“This feels like a clean slate. We’ve quite a few changes in our administrative part and we have to get accustomed to the new coach, director of cricket and CEO. But it’s important for us to just deal with cricket. That’s the only thing we can control.”It’s a new year. We just came off our domestic competition. Everybody is raring to go. I’m happy with the side I have right now.”
The ODI skipper admitted that despite being an inexperienced side, West Indies was still quite enthusiastic. “The more cricket we play together, the better we’ll become,” Holder said on the eve of the first ODI in Antigua. “We had some new faces come out at the end of last year, in our series in Zimbabwe. I thought we had a pretty decent series but one of the major factors that hurt us was inexperience.”We’ve a very inexperienced side. It’s a relatively young team. But we’re looking to make a mark on the international circuit.”