"We are just looking to start the series well. It is important that we start well," said Jason Holder © AFP
“We are just looking to start the series well. It is important that we start well,” said Jason Holder © AFP

Dubai: The West Indies Test and One-Day skipper Jason Holder has said they remain a powerful force despite the absence of some top players heading into the series against Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The West Indies are missing some of their big stars in the T20s and One-Dayers, including explosive opener Chris Gayle and all-rounder Andre Russell, reports CMC. Trinidad and Tobago left-handed batsman Evin Lewis was called up to replace Gayle at the last minute while Kesrick Williams, the fast bowler from St. Vincent and the Grenadines, has replaced Russell.

“It’s obviously a big loss to lose certain players, but obviously, we have some very capable players in the dressing room to fill their boots,” said Holder on Sunday. “Evin Lewis was called up at the last minute to replace Chris Gayle. I don’t think we are short on personnel. It’s just a matter of everyone getting in and getting used to international circuit. We have played a very vibrant brand of cricket, especially in the limited overs, and I think whoever is coming in, has the ability to do the same,” he added.

The West Indies start their tour with a warm-up game against Emirates Cricket Board XI on Tuesday before the opening T20 match against Pakistan on Friday. “We are just looking to start the series well. It is important that we start well,” said Holder. “We are coming off a very good win against India in the T20 series. We are coming in with a bit of confidence and hopefully, we can carry it in the heat here in Dubai.” Full Cricket Scorecard: Pakistan vs West Indies, 1st T20I at Dubai

One major factor the Caribbean side would have to contend with is the climate in Dubai. The 24-year-old Barbadian, who celebrates his next birthday in November, said his team-mates would need to become familiar with local conditions quickly. “I just think it’s a situation where we understand these conditions as best as we can and as quickly as we can and get acclimatised to the conditions here. The heat is not something we are accustomed to,” said Holder. Jason Holder sees ‘vast disparity’ between West Indies’ First-class & international Test cricket

“We come from the Caribbean which is quite hot …at times it can get hot, but the humidity in the Caribbean is not in the same comparison as it is here. It is just important to acclimatise ourselves to the conditions here as quickly as possible, and play the cricket we are accustomed to”. The West Indies and Pakistan will play three T20s, three One-Days and three Test matches.