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Holder says his side will play with a smile on their faces
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Holder says his side will play with a smile on their faces

Jason Holder sent a warning for West Indies' World Cup opponents ahead of their tournament opener against Pakistan at Trent Bridge, saying his team will be playing with a smile on their faces.

The two-times world champions had to battle hard to qualify for the World Cup, reaching the tournament through a qualifying competition in Zimbabwe last year.

Since then they have found rhythm, with key batsmen Chris Gayle and Shai Hope scoring runs, squaring a home series against a top-ranked England side couple of months back.

Preview: Pakistan seek to end their ODI rut against West Indies

"One thing I like coming into this tournament is that every player is in a good frame of mind. Everybody is playing with a smile on their face, and I think that's how we play our best cricket," said Holder, captaining in his second World Cup.

"We're fearless, we enjoy what we're doing and we enjoy one another's company. I can safely say within the group we've got that."

'Hope’s consistency major boost for West Indies'

Holder said Hope's consistent run-scoring was a major boost for his side.

"Shai has been carrying some form for a long time in the limited-overs format, and he's really confident," said Holder of the 25-year-old batsman.

"I think he's worked out pretty much his method of scoring in this format. As I say, it's been very, very consistent, which as a group we've probably lacked in the recent past."

Holder played down all the hype around his power packed batting line-up, tipped to possibly break the 500-run barrier in ODIs for the first time.

Also Read: Resurgent West Indies eager to make mark in World Cup

"Look, I don't want to sit here and try to pre-determine what's going to happen, but I just think in this situation we play a normal cricket game," said Holder, whose team were involved in a world-record 46 sixes in a match against England in Grenada.

Holder warned his team against complacency, even though they are facing a Pakistan team who have lost their last 10 ODIs.

"We just want to be as professional as we possibly can, not take anything for granted. I don't think we're in a position to take anything for granted," said Holder.