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Jason Holder

Jason Holder eyes series sweep to climb Test rankings

WI v Eng, 2nd Test, reaction

Jason Holder, the Windies skipper, was delighted after his team secured an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-Test series against England. However, his focus is now on the MRF Tyres ICC Test Rankings, where he wants to "move up the ladder" with a 3-0 series sweep.

"It is probably one of our biggest series [wins]," he explained after the third day on Saturday, 2 February. "Exceptional, to be honest. To see the guys [put in] such a performance in Barbados and come out here to beat England in three days and winning the series is just pleasing.

"We still want to win the series 3-0. Points are still up for grabs in the overall rankings. Moving up the ladder is something we have spoken about in the dressing room. It is not a situation to become complacent or relax, we need to start again just as we did here."

The hosts, who are currently No.8 in the MRF Tyres ICC Test Rankings, needed just 14 runs for victory in Antigua and they raced to the target in 2.1 overs with 10 wickets in hand.

It was an assertive performance from the Windies, who had won just one out of their last five Test series at home. The skipper, however, now wants his team to build on this win and remain "hungry for success".

"We've got to be consistent," he insisted. "It is just a matter of following up on this series and [being] hungry for success. It was a tough wicket in this game, a lot of variable bounce and the guys showed character."

Alzarri was exceptional. It took a lot of heart for him to be on the field today

Jason Holder

While limited-overs cricket, particularly Twenty20 cricket, is especially popular in the Caribbean, Holder remains confident of the region's love for Test cricket. The 27-year-old believes that success in the longest format could be "a start of new things" for red-ball cricket in his country. 

"The love for Test cricket is there. We've got a lot of young players who are aspiring to be Test cricketers," said the Windies skipper. "It is my favourite format of the game. It's just a matter of clinching a few more series. Hopefully, this could be a start of new things."

Holder extended his support to pacer Alzarri Joseph, who lost his mother before play on Saturday. The 22-year-old took the field nonetheless, returning figures of 2/12 to cap off an emotional outing. Holder acknowledged his "exceptional" effort, dedicating the triumph to the young bowler. 

“Alzarri was exceptional. It took a lot of heart for him to be on the field today," Holder said. "A lot of people wouldn't have been able to, but credit to him. The way he ran in this afternoon was exceptional and with a bit more luck he could have got three or four more wickets.

“To see him in tears this morning was even harder, and we came together in the huddle and we just wanted to do it for him and we dedicate this day to him, his mum and his family. It was up to him if he played. I didn't want to deprive him of the opportunity to take the field. If he felt he could manage and take the field and perform then I wasn't going to deprive him of that.

"For sure I knew he wanted to do something special for his mum and credit to him, he held his hand up high and did an exceptional job for us.”

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