May 31, 2019 / 5:07 PM / 4 months ago

Windies unveil World Cup tactic: When in doubt, bounce them out

(Reuters) - West Indies captain Jason Holder has backed his aggressive pace attack to make a major impact at the World Cup after they dismantled Pakistan in their opening win at Trent Bridge on Friday.

Cricket - ICC Cricket World Cup - West Indies v Pakistan - Trent Bridge, Nottingham, Britain - May 31, 2019 West Indies' Nicholas Pooran walks off the pitch after hitting the winning runs as Pakistan's Sarfaraz Ahmed and team mates look dejected Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

In a performance evoking memories of the team’s heyday in the 1980s, the Windies quicks led by Oshane Thomas harassed Pakistan with fiery bouncers in bowler-friendly conditions to dismiss them for their second-lowest World Cup total of 105.

Thomas finished with 4-27, while Holder and Russell shared five wickets between them to send an early warning to their World Cup rivals.

“We just want to be aggressive with whoever we’re playing against,” Holder told a news conference. “If you aren’t picking up wickets then you are never going to contain teams.

“We go through the players on the opposition and just try to formulate our plans.

“We get a lot of short balls in the nets as well, so it’s good to see a lot of short balls transcending from the nets onto the field of play.”

Holder was particularly impressed with the contribution of all-rounder Russell, playing his first ODI since July last year and who returned to the squad after a revamp of their selection policy.

Russell removed opener Fakhar Zaman with a brutal bouncer that hit the batsman’s helmet and crashed into the stumps, and soon after had Haris Sohail caught behind with another vicious delivery.

“Yeah, his spell had great impact. It started the slide for Pakistan, and again, he’s one of those players that runs in and gives it his all,” Holder added.

“He has a lot of force going through his body and he’s one of those players that he will give you 110 percent every time he steps up to the plate.”

Holder confirmed, however, that Russell was a doubt for their next match against Australia on Thursday after he limped off the field with an ongoing knee problem.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; editing by Tony Lawrence

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