June 21, 2019 / 5:39 PM / 4 months ago

Holder says frank discussions can fire West Indies against New Zealand

MANCHESTER (Reuters) - West Indies captain Jason Holder admits there have been some frank words spoken within the team as they seek to keep their Cricket World Cup semi-final hopes alive against New Zealand at Old Trafford on Saturday.

FILE PHOTO: Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup - West Indies v Bangladesh - The County Ground, Taunton, Britain - June 17, 2019 West Indies' Chris Gayle and Jason Holder look dejected at the end of the match Action Images via Reuters/Paul Childs

West Indies have just a single victory from their five matches to date, with one no result, and suffered a heavy seven-wicket defeat to Bangladesh in their previous outing on Monday.

That stretched their run to four games without a win, and Holder says the players have to come together to find a way to beat the high-flying New Zealanders.

“We’ve had a few frank discussions within the dressing room to find ways in which we can improve on,” Holder told reporters. “I think all teams would get themselves in that situation at some point.

“But, yeah, we’ve had some pretty good discussions over the last couple of days. And tomorrow is just a day to deliver.

“And we’ve just got to play cricket now. I think we’ve done enough talking as a group. It’s just a matter for us to deliver.”

Holder says the semi-finals are still a possibility for his side, and that the picture will become clearer either way on Saturday.

“I think we still have a possible chance to qualify for the semi-finals, but we’ve just got to take it game by game. This encounter with New Zealand is very important.

“We all know what’s at stake and we just have to come and bring our A game. It’s as simple as that.”

Key all-rounder Andre Russell continues to battle with injury, and Holder doubts he will be fit for the game at Old Trafford, the only injury concern for the West Indies.

“I think one guy who probably may be definitely out is Russell. I don’t think he’s fit enough to go. But everybody else should be good to go.”

West Indies scored 421 in a warm-up game against the New Zealanders in Bristol, admittedly a training fixture that was not a full international, but Holder says they will still take much from that encounter.

“It just shows what we can produce. It’s a situation where we’ve just got to pull on those resources, remember the things that we did in that game. And it just shows that when we’re at our best what we can produce.

“I just think the guys just need to be clear, need to be calm and just execute their plans.”

Reporting By Nick Said; Editing by Hugh Lawson

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