Sydney: West Indies captain Jason Holder insisted both he and his side could bounce back at the World Cup following their 257-run pool thrashing by South Africa at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Friday.
At the tender age of 23, Holder has been given one of the toughest jobs in world cricket in leading the strife-torn West Indies, who`ve fallen a long way from the heights that saw them win the first two World Cups in 1975 and 1979.
But Holder`s problems on Friday were of the on-field variety as South Africa piled up 408 for five — the second-highest total at any World Cup — in an innings where Proteas skipper AB de Villiers struck 162 not out off just 66 balls.
Barbados paceman Holder was in the eye of the storm, his 10 overs costing 104 runs — the fifth most expensive return in all one-day internationals — with 64 runs alone scored off his final two overs.
“If you take away my last two overs in which AB really took me apart, it would have been a different story,” said Holder.
“It`s a tough task, with only four fielders outside the circle,” the all-rounder added.
“I think if you analyse my bowling today, one player took me out. It happens and I just need to figure out what I can do better when things like that happen,” said Holder.
The West Indies are still on course for a quarter-final place after winning and losing two of their opening four Pool B matches and Holder urged them to hit back against defending champions India in Perth a week on Friday.
“I wouldn`t say it puts us on the back foot, we still have two games left,” Holder said.
“We need to take it one game at a time. We have to deal with India next. We`ve going to be aggressive, we`ve going to play our normal style of cricket.
“We obviously have periods to improve on in terms of our `death` bowling.
“I think once we do that we`re still a force in the competition,” said Holder, who showed his character by recovering from his bowling mauling to top score with 56, batting at number nine, in West Indies` 151 all out against South Africa.
“Today was just the first off-day with bat,” he added. “It was a daunting task to try and chase 408 runs.”
A sympathetic de Villiers said Holder`s bad day was just one of the perils of captaincy.
“He`s actually a really nice guy, so yes, we`ve all been there, I`ve been there before in my career,” the Proteas skipper said of Holder.
“I think every captain goes through really tough games. I think it was a really tough game for him today.
“I know he is mature enough to handle it, he has enough teammates of experience around him to look after him and there`s no doubt the West Indies will bounce back, they are a classy unit and still a very dangerous team in this tournament.”