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Holder refuses to be distracted by talk of 'history' before the second Test
West Indies News

Holder refuses to be distracted by talk of 'history' before the second Test

West Indies captain Jason Holder has reiterated his side's focus remains on the present instead of blindly chasing the glory of achieving their first Test series win in England for 32 years.

Holder's men have an early advantage of sealing a historic series triumph on English soil after taking the lead during an impressive four-wicket win at Southampton last week.

They only require one more victory to retain the Wisden Trophy since they are already in possession of the prize as they defeated England 2-1 in their visit to the Caribbean in 2019.

For years, West Indies have failed to live up to their invincible reputation of the 1980s when the likes of Gordon Greenidge, Desmond Haynes, Viv Richards, Malcolm Marshall and Curtly Ambrose terrorised oppositions around the world.

West Indies' last away series win against a side from the top-seven came in the season of 1994/95 when they prevailed over New Zealand.

Their abysmal record post-1994 summarises the declining state of Test cricket in the region with subsequent leaders struggling for consistency at the highest level.

But Holder refused to be drawn into a discussion regarding the possibility of eliminating West Indies' winless rut abroad.

"Winning the first Test match is just one piece of the puzzle," he said.

"We've got two other games to play and we don't get ahead of ourselves."

Despite downplaying the hype, Holder recognised the importance of clinching victories amidst the uncertain times facing the masses due to the coronavirus crisis.

"This COVID period has really put a dampener on things for the world and things like cricket, especially in the Caribbean, can unify the Caribbean," he said.

"It is really good to see how many hearts we've pleased in the Caribbean so far but in order to take it a step further they all want us to win this series."

Although West Indies seemed to tick a lot of boxes during their brilliant win over England in a close contest, the brittle form of their star batter Shai Hope creates concerns about the fragility of the top-order.

Hope has scored only two fifties since his remarkable twin centuries against England at Headingley in 2017 with two cheap scores in the game at the Ageas Bowl.

However, Holder expected Hope to repay the faith bestowed in him by the selectors and felt he had the potential to repeat his heroics from three years ago.

"Shai's a quality player, we've seen that particularly the last time we came here to England," he said.

"I've got all confidence Shai Hope will deliver. He just needs to get himself in, get himself going and he's going to go big for us."