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Saturday, August 08, 2020

The architects of West Indies’ Test wins under Jason Holder

Jason Holder is now only behind Clive Lloyd and Viv Richards in terms of Test wins as West Indies captain, though many of those wins have come against smaller teams. Here are the best performers in the 11 wins that have come under Holder.

By: Sports Desk | Updated: July 16, 2020 3:44:58 pm
Holder's men Kraigg Brathwaite, Jason Holder, Shannon Gabriel and Roston Chase (L-R) have produced the most crucial performances in the Test wins that have come for West Indies under Holder. (WICB)

Jason Holder, in leading West Indies to victory in the 1st Test vs England in Southampton last week, became the most successful captain of the team since the early-1990s. But with the wins, there’s a consistent set of performers who have helped take the team to victory.

Wins under Holder

The win was Holder’s 11th Test win as captain, from the 33 Tests he led the team in.

Since Holder became captain in September 2015, six wins have come at home, two have come at neutral venues (in UAE against Pakistan, and against Afghanistan) and three have come on the opposition’s turf (once in Zimbabwe and twice in England, including Sunday’s win).

West Indies have won four series under him: two at home (vs Bangladesh and England) and two away from home (against Zimbabwe and Afghanistan).

India, Australia, South Africa and New Zealand are the four teams West Indies have not managed to beat under Holder.

The stand-out players in Holder’s West Indies


Holder has been the chief contributor in the 11 Tests the team have won under him. His first win as captain came more than a year after he had taken charge, a five-wicket win against Pakistan, in which Holder took 5 wickets. He took 6 wickets when West Indies won their second Test under him, when Pakistan went on a return tour the next year.

His best spell as a player came in the 2018/19 season, when he led West Indies from the front to two series wins at home. When West Indies beat Bangladesh 2-0, Holder was the most successful bowler of the team with 16 wickets.

When they then beat England 2-1 a few months later, it was his 202* that was the highest individual score.

Shannon Gabriel

Shannon Gabriel was the Man of the Match with 9 wickets in the the recent first Test against England, but his best year was 2017, when he turned in match-winning performances against Pakistan and England.

When West Indies beat Pakistan by 116 runs, it was Gabriel who finished with 9 wickets. A few months later, when West Indies pulled off a major upset by beating England in Leeds in a high-scoring match, Gabriel had the best bowling figures, with 6 wickets in the match.

Kraigg Brathwaite 

Kraigg Brathwaite — and Shai Hope — have both failed to reach the heights their early promise hinted at. Brathwaite, despite a two-year barren spell before his 65 in last week’s Test, had put in some solid knocks at the top of the order in the first few years of Holder’s captaincy.

When Holder led the team to a win in 2016, he had his Barbados teammate leading the cause. Brathwaite, with 202 runs, was the highest scorer in that Test, and he had remained unbeaten in both innings. When West Indies put one over England in Leeds, their batting heroes had been Hope and Brathwaite.

In 2018, when West Indies beat Bangladesh 2-0 at home, the most successful series for West Indies under Holder, Brathwaite was the highest scorer in both the matches and the series.

Roston Chase

Roston Chase has been the toughest fighter in the West Indies middle order over the last few years, turning in match-winning performances with bat and ball. Significantly, Chase’s best efforts have come in wins against Pakistan, England and Sri Lanka.

When West Indies beat Pakistan in 2017, Chase’s 154 runs from the match was the highest score. In 2018, when they won at home against Sri Lanka, Chase’s 4/15 in the second innings finished off the match. When they beat England at home, Chase was again the most successful bowler in the 1st Test, taking 8 wickets.

READ | The paradox of being Jermaine Blackwood

Other contributors

Shane Dowrich, Shai Hope and Devendra Bishoo are the others who have played match-winning roles at least thrice in the 11 Tests the team has won. Kemar Roach also deserves mention for playing a leading role in the home series win against England in 2019.

Holder’s 11 Test wins (and the heroes of the wins)

First win in November 2016 vs Pakistan in UAE. This was the last match of series, which they eventually lost 2-1. WI won by 5 wickets. Brathwaite 202 (not out in both innings), Dowrich (117) Bishoo 7/123, Holder 5/59

Second win on Pakistan’s return tour in May 2017. They drew the series level with this win but eventually lost it 2-1. WI won by 116 runs. Chase 154, Hope 95, Gabriel 9/92, Holder 6/65

In August 2017, they beat England in Leeds. WI won by 5 wicket. Though a major upset, they went on to lose the series 2-1. Hope 265, Brathwaite 229, Gabriel 6/176

READ | England vs West Indies: Four phases of an epic Test rivalry over the decades

Holder’s first series win came away from home in October 2017 when West Indies beat Zimbabwe in the first match of a series which they won 1-0 in Bulawayo. WI won by 117 runs. Hope 133, Chase 126, Bishoo 9/184

In June 2018, West Indies beat Sri Lanka in the first match of a home series, which ended 1-1. WI won by 226 runs. Dowrich 138, Powell 126, Bishoo 4/73, Gabriel 4/100, Chase (50, 4/15)

Holder’s first series at home and his second series win as captain came in July 2018, when West Indies beat Bangladesh 2-0. In the 1st Test, WI won by an innings and 219 runs. Brathwaite 121, Holder 5/40, Gabriel 5/91. In the 2nd Test, WI won by 116 runs. Brathwaite 118, Holder 11/103

In February 2019, West Indies won a series against England at home. This was the second home series win and third series win for Holder. In the 1st Test, WI won by 381 runs. Holder (202* in second innings, 2/39) Dowrich 116, Chase 8/60, Roach 5/75. In the 2nd Test, WI won by 10 wickets. Roach 8/82, Holder 5/86

West Indies claimed a fourth series win under Holder when they registered a 1-0 series win vs Afghanistan in India in November 2019. WI won by 9 wickets. Brooks 112, Cornwall 10/121, Holder 5/42

West Indies took a 1-0 lead in the series vs England in July 2020, WI won by 4 wickets. Gabriel 9/137, Holder 7/91.

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