England v West Indies - Under-fire captain Jason Holder opts to ignore heavy flak

FOLLOW THE LEADER: West Indies' captain Jason Holder leads his players during Thursday's nets session at Headingley. Picture: Tim Goode/PA.
FOLLOW THE LEADER: West Indies' captain Jason Holder leads his players during Thursday's nets session at Headingley. Picture: Tim Goode/PA.
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The West Indies ‘captain Jason Holder has urged his team to display unity ahead of the second Investec Test with England following the type of criticism he admits could “break” certain individuals.

Holder’s team coped with plenty of flak on both sides of the Atlantic after last week’s capitulation at Edgbaston, where England won by an innings and 209 runs and took 19 wickets in a single day to wrap up victory with two days to spare.

HITTING BACK: West Indies' captain Jason Holder during the nets session at Headingley on Thursday. Picture: Tim Goode/PA

HITTING BACK: West Indies' captain Jason Holder during the nets session at Headingley on Thursday. Picture: Tim Goode/PA

Former West Indian bowler Curtly Ambrose was among the most scathing in his assessment, accusing his successors of lacking pride and passion in a performance he dubbed “totally embarrassing”.

Holder claims he has given little attention to such comments, but wants the tourists to band together at Headingley to aid those whose confidence may have been obliterated by the harsh words.

“I don’t really hear it. I can’t change it or control it so I ignore it,” said Holder.

“We’ve taken a fair bit of criticism from the English and West Indians and everyone to be honest.

We’ve taken a fair bit of criticism from the English and West Indians and everyone to be honest. That’s something that inspires or motivates some people and it breaks some people.

West Indies captain Jason Holder

“That’s something that inspires or motivates some people and it breaks some people.

“But for us we’ve got to stay together as a side for people who might not necessarily be able to handle it.

“For the people it motivates that must drive them to get the best out of themselves.”

As captain Holder, 25, was targeted more than most, particularly after some strange tactical decisions including their delay in taking the new pink ball during the day-night Test.

Given the dearth of options at his disposal, and the fact that many of his experienced peers are plying their trade in one-day franchise cricket instead, it must feel like Holder is at the helm of a team constantly in flux.

“It’s not easy, we haven’t had the best results over the last few years, but I enjoy it,” he said of the captaincy.

“I would never shy away from it and I don’t think I’d ever give it up.

“The one thing I can control is trying to get the best out of each and every individual in the dressing room and I try my best to do that.”

Eoin Morgan will join the Barbados Tridents for the remainder of the Caribbean Premier League campaign.