NOTTINGHAM, England (Reuters) – West Indies skipper Jason Holder refused to get swept away by talk of records and breaking through the 500-run mark as his side prepared for Friday’s World Cup clash with Pakistan at Trent Bridge.
England racked up a one-day international world record of 481 for six in 50 overs against Australia at the same Nottingham ground a year ago.
West Indies also smashed an exuberant 421 runs, including 18 sixes and a century for Shai Hope, in a final warm-up game against New Zealand in Bristol that sent a few ripples through the game.
Holder has said he wants his eighth-ranked team to fly under the radar in England and he was not about to add to any hype when asked on Thursday whether his big-hitters were ready to make a statement.
“I don’t want to sit here and try to predetermine what’s going to happen,” he told reporters.
“I think where the game has gone now, especially in England, there have been some high totals but there have been totals where I saw one or two games lately that were relatively low scoring. It can happen,” he added.
“That’s the way cricket is played, and that’s the nature of the game. I just don’t want to sit before a game and say we’re looking to score 500 or 600. I just want to play it as we see it and assess the conditions like any other game.”
Holder said Hope, who said after the New Zealand match that he saw 500 as a definite goal with West Indies having the firepower to achieve the breakthrough at some point, was confident and on form.
“I think he’s worked out pretty much his method of scoring in this format,” he said of the 25-year-old Barbadian.
“It’s really good to see a young batter stepping up and being as consistent as he has been and leading the charge for us, and obviously we’ve got power around him and some other touch players.”
Holder said his team was free of injuries, giving him something of a selection headache.
Former England batsman Kevin Pietersen has tipped West Indies, winners of the tournament from the outset in 1975 and 1979, to spring a few surprises with their batsmen.
“My semi-finalists would be India, England, Australia and the West Indies. It’ll be one of those that win,” he told the ICC website.
“Normally Pakistan are the unpredictable team, but this West Indies team is so unpredictable. The way they beat New Zealand was some, some cricket.”
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis)