Opening up Test not in West Indies’ best interests: Skipper Holder

Sydney, Jan 8 (IANS) West Indies captain Jason Holder has said he rejected a proposal from his opposite number Australia’s Steve Smith to open up the third and final Test with a dramatic last-day run chase, because he did not believe such a scenario was in the best interest of the team’s development.

With rain allowing just 68 deliveries on Day two and forcing the abandonment of the third and fourth days, the Test was predictably headed for a draw when play finally resumed on Thursday’s final day at the Sydney Cricket Ground, reports CMC.

The proposal would have seen the West Indies declaring at their overnight 248 for seven, Australia then forfeiting their first innings, allowing the visitors to rattle up 121 off seven overs and then attempting to chase down 370 off 70 overs for victory.

“He came to us and made an offer. I just went back to the team and we thought at this stage of our development, it wasn’t the best thing for us,” Holder told a media conference following the drawn contest on Thursday.

“We had (Denesh) Ramdin, who was scoring well and looking well, so (we decided to) give him the encouragement to go out there and build an innings and build some confidence.”

“We set out at the beginning of the series to make sure to bat 90 overs each time we batted and get past the 300 mark. That was one of the things that we wanted to achieve today and we achieved that.”

Holder said with the disappointing series the Windies had experienced Down Under, it was more important for them to achieve team goals.

“It was a team vote and a team decision. We started in Hobart and we didn’t play well at all there. We showed improvement in Melbourne, and we just had to come here to improve as well.

“I think we just need to take it step by step; it’s not a case where you can just jump from losing Test matches to winning in one transition, especially against good opposition like Australia.”

Australia won the series 2-0 after victories in Hobart and Melbourne in the first two Tests.

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