Consistency key to improving ranking: Windies skipper Holder

Bridgetown (Barbados), Sep 17 (IANS) Captain Jason Holder says the West Indies must start winning games if they want to make any progress in the international rankings.

The regional side currently languishes at No.8 in the Test rankings and No.9 in the One-Day Internationals and Holder said that, with upcoming series against higher-ranked teams, it was important the Windies found some level of consistency, reports CMC.

“We want to make that steady progression up but we can’t jump ahead of teams that higher-ranked than us unless we play higher-ranked sides in terms of the points system,” Holder said.

“If you look at our upcoming schedule, we have Sri Lanka which is ahead of us, we’ve got India in the New Year and Australia at the end of the year — these are all teams that are ranked higher than us.”

“The thing is not to fall further than where we are at this present time and gain points by winning some games against them. You can jump a hell of a lot further up the channel if you beat these teams that ranked higher than you.”

The West Indies are currently preparing for their tour of Sri Lanka where they play two Tests, three ODIs and two Twenty20s against the hosts who are ranked seventh in Tests and fifth in one-dayers.

The Caribbean side have not beaten Sri Lanka in a Test series in 12 years and lost their last one-day series there four years ago.

Holder, who will be on his first tour as Test captain after being appointed earlier this month, said consistency was the key to breaking this losing trend.

“This is always our aim — to win cricket games. Obviously we haven’t been consistent in a sense over the last few years but we need to instil the consistency in the dressing room and get the guys understanding what is required of them in terms of roles and in terms of different scenarios which they maybe [faced with] in certain games,” he explained.

“I think myself and the coach (Phil Simmons) have a good idea of the direction we want to go in and we’ll make a little tinker here and there as we make progression going forward.”

“I am sure that once we set things up in terms of a good dressing room then we can make that progression steadily upwards,” he added.

The West Indies’ poor ODI ranking saw them excluded from the 2017 Champions Trophy for the first time.

And while Holder described the situation as “disheartening”, he said West Indies needed to continue focussing on improving their ranking.

“I try to control what I can. Obviously it is very disheartening not to make the Champions Trophy … but again that’s beyond my control,” said the 23-year-old.

“I think we were the only territory that hadn’t played (one-day) cricket since the World Cup and we didn’t give ourselves the adequate chance to qualify for the Champions Trophy.

“Again that’s beyond my control … that’s up to the West Indies Cricket Board to determine what cricket we play and what cricket we don’t play.”

He continued: “Having said that we were always down at number eight and we’ve been lingering in that position for a while. It is important that we play teams that are higher ranked so we can gain points and move ourselves up the ladder.”

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