Holding impressed with young West Indies talent

Michael Holding.
Associated Press / Andres Leighton

West Indies legendary fast bowler Michael Holding sees the regional team being competitive in the next five to 10 years.

Speaking on the Mason and Guest Cricket Show in Barbados recently, Holding said he sees potential in the current West Indies team, pointing to the batting trio of Nicholas Pooran, Shai Hope and Hetmyer to lead the way.

“I see the light of the end of the tunnel because I see talent and once there is talent there has to be light at the end of the tunnel,” Holding said.

Holding was part of the dominant West Indies team of the 1970s and 1980s. The Jamaican fast bowler, who played 60 Test matches and 192 One-Day Internationals from 1975 to 1987, said strong individuals combined with a solid team structure will lead to better performances.

Holding, who made a name for himself as a cricket commentator, said there are few batsmen in the region that he is impressed with.

West Indies, Shai Hope bats during the Cricket World Cup match between Afghanistan and West Indies at Headingley in Leeds, EnglandAssociated Press / Rui Vieira; file

He said players such as Pooran, Hope and Hetmyer have a lot of talent in the batting department because “I think those three are the most talented that I have seen in the last two or three years.”

Pooran, 24, has been strong in ODIs with an average of 40.05 in 25 matches but he has never played Test cricket. He has not lived up to his potential in the 21 Twenty20 internationals he has played with an average of 23.53.

Hope, 26 has been the most consistent West Indies batsman in the ODI format in recent years His statistics are not impressive in other formats with an average of 27.23 in 31 Tests and 21.63 in 13 T20 matches. Hetmyer, the youngest of the trio, 23, has lined up for West Indies in 45 ODI matches. The left-hander has an average of 27.93 in 16 Tests and 19.66 in 25 T20 Internationals.

Holding said those players have to stay disciplined to live up to their potential.

He said there are a few more quality players who can improve the fortunes of the West Indies.

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