By NAN Sports Editor
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Fri. March. 12, 2021: The West Indies face Sri Lanka again today in Antigua, fresh from another win Wednesday that put the home side 1-0 in the One-Day International series. The question on every fans mind is can they keep up the winning streak?
The Caribbean team has their sights fixed on only their fourth series win in seven years as the second One-Day International is set to bowl off at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in Antigua today.
The Windies dominated the visitors in the opening game on Wednesday, March 10, 2021, to come away with an eight-wicket victory and are aware that another win today will go a long way in erasing recent bitter memories.
Vice-captain Shai Hope said Thursday it is important the home side made the necessary improvements so there was no false sense of security.
“We need to focus on those things and highlight them in whatever meetings and discussion we have and we must not be complacent,” said the right-hander, whose classy 110 in the opener on Wednesday proved the deciding factor.
New Skipper For Test
The West Indies Cricket Board hopes the winning phase is not a one off and they are taking no chances. The Board on Thursday replaced all-rounder Jason Holder as captain for the two-Test series against Sri Lanka starting later this month. He was replaced by compatriot Kraigg Brathwaite, whose outstanding leadership on the recent tour of Bangladesh helped a weakened West Indies whitewash the home side in a two-match series, to win their first series in Asian in nearly a decade.
“We all believe that Kraigg is the right man to lead our Test side at this point in time and I’m delighted that he has accepted the role,” chief selector Roger Harper was quoted as saying of the selection.
Holder was one of the youngest ever Windies Test captains when he was appointed at age 23, led West Indies in 37 of his 45 Tests, winning 11, losing 21 and drawing five games.
And while he oversaw the return of the Wisden Trophy to the Caribbean in 2019 after nearly a decade, his position increasingly came under heavy scrutiny especially after the series defeat in England last year and a heavy series loss in New Zealand last December.
His captaincy also drew criticism from several prominent ex-players. Still the 29-year-old is one of the world’s leading Test all-rounders, averaging 32 with the bat with three hundreds, and taking 116 wickets at just under 28 apiece.
Holder’s removal as Test captain also comes two years after he was axed as one-day skipper, following West Indies’ nightmare run at the ICC World Cup in England when the Caribbean side won two of nine games to finish one from bottom in the 10-team tournament.
SQUADS FOR TODAY’S ODI
WEST INDIES – Kieron Pollard (captain), Shai Hope (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Kyle Mayers, Jason Mohammed, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Kevin Sinclair.
SRI LANKA – Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Dasun Shanaka, Danushka Gunathilake, Pathum Nissanka, Ashen Bandara, Oshada Fernando, Dinesh Chandimal, Niroshan Dickwella, Thisara Perera, Kamindu Mendis, Wanindu Hasaranga, Ramesh Mendis, Nuwan Pradeep, Asitha Fernando, Dushmantha Chameera, Akila Dananajaya, Lakshan Sandakan, Dilshan Madushanka, Suranga Lakmal.