Sports

Samuels one of the best, says skipper Holder

Sunday, October 21, 2018

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GUWAHATI, India (CMC) — Jason Holder has praised Marlon Samuels as one of West Indies' best, as the veteran right-hander prepares to play his 200th One-Day International today.

The 37-year-old Samuels is the most experienced player in an otherwise inexperienced 15-man touring party for the five-match series against India, and will become only the eighth West Indies player to achieve 200 ODIs, behind Brian Lara, Shiv Chanderpaul, Chris Gayle, Desmond Haynes, Carl Hooper, Sir Richie Richardson and Courtney Walsh.

“He's done significantly well, especially in the recent past,” Holder told reporters.

“He's obviously got a wealth of experience and thrives on competition. He's one of the most competitive players I've ever come across. There's a reason he's playing his 200th game tomorrow because he's done well. Hopefully he'll pass the knowledge to the younger lot.”

Samuels has had an outstanding career for West Indies since making his debut as a 19-year-old, gathering 5,472 runs at an average of 33 and scoring 10 hundreds.

Significantly, the Jamaican has had a love affair with the subcontinent. His maiden ODI century came against the Indians at Vijayawada and two more of his triple-figure scores have come against the same opponents.

In fact, Samuels also had six half-centuries in India where he averages 45, making him the most successful West Indies batsman here.

It was in Kolkata two years ago where he produced an astonishing unbeaten half-century to guide West Indies to the capture of the second Twenty20 World Cup title.

“Marlon has been around for a while. He has carried the West Indies batting for many years, along with guys like Chris Gayle,” Holder explained.

“He has been one of our best batsmen in ODI cricket, and that's the reason why he has played for so many years.”

He added: “Marlon certainly tries to make the younger West Indies players understand what it takes to be successful at the international level.”

West Indies take on India in the opening ODI of the five-match series at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium starting at 1:30 pm (4:00 am Eastern Caribbean time).

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