His troublesome knee flaring up time and again but West Indies skipper Jason Holder insists that “match-winner” Andre Russells fitness is a gamble worth taking.
The West Indies all-rounder once again pulled up a knee injury during their eight-wicket defeat to England in a World Cup match here on Friday and he went off the field after bowling to Jonny Bairstow.
The 31-year-old had earlier also left the ground during West Indies game against Australia on June 6. “Its been difficult so far for him. We have been trying our best to keep him on the park, but it is proving difficult,” admitted Holder.
Holder desperately wants Russell, who is a match-winner on his day, to be a part of West Indies paying XI during crucial World Cup matches. “Going forward, we have to persist. He is here for a reason. We think he can be a match-winner for us. We have just got to cope with him. We have got to do everything we possibly can with him to keep him on the park,” the captain said.
The West Indies have suffered their second defeat in four games but Holder is confident of his team making the semifinals of the World Cup.
“I think it would be very foolish not to be confident (we can reach the semis). Theres still a lot of cricket to be played in this tournament. We have only played four games. There is a hell of a lot of cricket left to be played,” said Holder.
He said the players would have to come up with a disciplined performance against Bangladesh in their next match in Taunton on Monday. “We have just got to be disciplined and make sure we come against Bangladesh firstly in our next game and make sure we beat Bangladesh.
Holder admitted that England simply outplayed them.
“We needed to make early inroads here. But we felt we had a really good chance at the halfway stage even though we felt we were still a few runs short.
“Having said that, the way we have been bowling, we have been backing ourselves to get new-ball wickets. It didnt happen for us today, well played England,” he said.