‘No better time for us to beat England than now’ – Jason Holder says West Indies’ win in Australia inspired his return to Test cricket for England series

Jason Holder says West Indies’ victory over Australia in January reignited his desire for Test cricket as he aims to help his nation to a first series win in England since 1988.

West Indies won a thriller in Brisbane by eight runs earlier this year as Shamar Joseph’s seven-wicket haul sealed a maiden Test triumph in Australia since 1997 and 1-1 series draw.

Former captain Holder opted out of the tour in order to play in the United Arab Emirates T20 franchise league but is back in the squad for the games against England.

Speaking ahead of the first Test at Lord’s on Wednesday, which is live on Sky Sports, Holder said: “I was so happy for the boys when they did what they did in Australia.

“It gave me a renewed energy to come back to the group and be a part of something special again. I have missed Test cricket and I am looking forward to it.

“It’s important [to build on Australia]. I think the guys took a lot from that. We are coming out to win this series.

“We have some special talent in the dressing room, it’s just about playing solid cricket and having belief.

‘No better time for us to beat England than now’

Holder was skipper when West Indies last toured England in the Covid-hit summer of 2020.

The Caribbean side won the opening Test in Southampton before losing the next two at Emirates Old Trafford, on a trip Holder remembers feeling like “being in prison” due to the social distancing required during the pandemic.

He said: “We won one Test last time and are looking to take it further and two would be a lot better on this trip.

“There is no better time for us to beat England than now. I think that would be a great feat and nothing this team is short of.

West Indies are now captained by Kraigg Brathwaite but Holder says he has still been sharing wisdom with his team-mates, many of whom are on their first tour of England.

The all-rounder added: “I am quite relaxed in the dressing room.

“I have had individual chats with players, just trying to understand them so that when we go out on the field I get a better sense of them as a person.

“I can then be in a better position to help them when needs be but the boys have been so welcoming and receptive of the information I have shared. I have learnt from them, too.”

Holder and fellow seamer Jayden Seales are hoping success on the field in England can in some way help those back in the Caribbean affected by Hurricane Beryl.

Holder, who is from Barbados, said: “One thing that brings West Indian people together is cricket.

“Our success in the recent past has revived the cricketing lives of people in the Caribbean. We want to make them as proud as can be in these tough times.”

Trinidadian quick Seales, who missed the Australia series through injury, said: “We are not doing it for ourselves. We are doing it for the people back home who support us.

“They have been hit by the hurricane so drastically. We will try our best to make them feel a sense of pride.

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