India failed to chase down 190 against the West Indies and there were a couple of prominent reasons for this.
Firstly, MS Dhoni hit India’s slowest half-century in 16 years – although ‘hit’ seems an entirely inappropriate word to use for an innings of 54 off 114 balls. MS Dhoni bobbled India’s slowest half-century in 16 years. He was there until six balls to go too, so his soporific knock actually took in much of ‘the slog’ .
Another reason for India’s low score was Jason Holder.
— CricketWestIndies (@westindies) July 2, 2017
When we first caught sight of Holder, we thought ‘ooh hell’ or something along those lines. Two metres tall, a seam bowler who could bat, we had visions of Curtly Ambrose as an all-rounder. After watching him play, he came across as more of an Angus Fraser/Chris Tavaré character.
While that would be many people’s dream cricketer, it was nevertheless an interesting contrast to one’s expectations. He was clearly a committed cricketer, but a labouring one to whom results didn’t appear to come easily.
For a long time the effort-plus-raw-ingredients-equals-results equation didn’t really add up for Holder, but the final part has been increasing in value for a while now. He took 5-27 against India and if he’s still coming on second or third change in Tests, here he was opening the bowling.
There’s more to come. Albeit probably in the form of a self-destructive diktat from the West Indies Cricket Board.