West Indies captain, Jason Holder, has earned the ire of former fastbowler, Winston Benjamin, who has not liked the way he has treated paceman Alzarri Joseph.
According to Benjamin, Joseph has been underutilized by the skipper, making it difficult for him to develop a rhythm and perform at his best.
“It’s not because I’ve worked with this young man, but I think Alzarri has been handled poorly by the captain from day one, not just this series, and just look at how he is being used. Here it is that you have a youngster with raw talent and we don’t have a lot of bowlers with raw talent, but how do you get experience, isn’t it by doing what you have to do?” said Benjamin during an airing of the ‘Good Morning Jojo Sports Show’.
Benjamin also suggested Holder has an issue with Joseph and may not think he is as good as people are purporting.
“If you’re not happy with an individual and you think there is too much talk about this individual and don’t think he’s as good and you want to prove a point, then you give him short spells, bowl him with the old ball when things are tight and critical so he never has a break,” said Benjamin
Benjamin went on to point out that Holder has a responsibility that comes with being captain that, if not managed properly, could be harmful.
“The captain has the ability to make or break a bowler. The time that you give him the ball to bowl, the confidence that you place in him will determine the frame of mind and if you are going to give me two overs and take me off every minute, the first thing I am going to say is that you don’t have any confidence in me so my whole demeanour is now going to change,” said Benjamin.
Benjamin, the mentor of Joseph, was speaking after the first two Tests in the three-match #raisethebat Series currently ongoing in England.
In that first Test, Joseph bowled a total of 31 overs to end with match figures of 2-98, while in the second Test he bowled even less, accounting for 25.1 overs for a match-haul of 1-84. Joseph was dropped in favour of spinner Rahkeem Cornwall for the Third Test which heads into day three on Sunday.
According to Benjamin, there is a certain selfishness in the way Holder rotates his bowlers.
“Now, what I have observed with our captain is that he doesn’t bowl unless things are happening and once things are happening the ball belongs to him and he’s not relinquishing that but as soon as you hit a little rough patch, you go and work this ball for me and as soon as things start happening he comes back in and cleans up. I have seen those things, I’ve been part of those situations many times. I’ve gone through that myself,” he said.
What Joseph needs now, more than anything else, Benjamin went on to explain, is experience.
According to the former fast bowler, who took 61 wickets in 21 Tests for the West Indies, that experience can only be had if the captain allows it.
“You can’t learn experience; you learn skill, you develop skill, but experience is you participating in whatever it is in order to gain the experience.”
The West Indies and England are locked at a game apiece in their three-Test series with England dominating the third.
England, sent into bat scored 369 and after two days of cricket, have the West Indies in a spot of bother, six wickets down for 137.
Always tell someone how you feel because opportunities are lost in the blink of an eye but regret can last a lifetime.