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Jason Holder has 'full confidence' in struggling Shai Hope

By Nicholas Mcgee

Manchester, July 23: West Indies captain Jason Holder has full confidence in Shai Hope to turn his form around ahead of the deciding Test with England.

The Windies, having won the first Test at the Rose Bowl, slumped to a 113-run defeat in the second at Old Trafford.

Holder's men will attempt to retain the Wisden Trophy and secure a series win in England for the first time since 1988 with victory in the third encounter, which starts on Friday at the same venue.

It was another disappointing performance from Hope, who scored 25 in the first innings and was dismissed for just seven in the second.

Since scoring a hundred in each innings in a Windies win over England at Headingley in 2017, Hope has scored 899 runs at an average of just 24.29.

However, Holder is backing Hope to rediscover his best form in the longest format and impress as he does in ODI cricket, in which he is ranked as the 13th-best batsman in the world.

Holder told a media conference: "All our players have got my full backing, they know how I personally feel.

"Yes some of them haven't got the runs they would like but more or less it's just giving them our full support.

"I'm 100 per cent behind Shai, we all know what Shai can produce, he's done it before at this level of Test cricket, he's arguably one of the best one-day batsmen in the world and we know the calibre of player he can be.

"I've got full confidence in Shai to get some runs, he's gotten starts so far in this series so he's not far from converting a start into something really special for us. He's got my full support."

Spinner Rahkeem Cornwall could come into the side on a pitch that offered plenty of help to spin-bowling all-rounder Roston Chase in the second Test to aid an attack dealing with a second successive four-day turnaround.

"In terms of the workload and the management of our players everybody's held up really well," Holder added.

"We've been doing this for a number of years now, the nucleus hasn't really changed significantly, these guys have backed up Test matches before, yes the turnaround in this one has been a lot shorter than normal, but these guys have done it before. I'm not too worried about the workload when it comes to these players.

"If he [Cornwall] does come in he's a wicket-taker, and he's proven to be a match-winner, not only at regional level but in his last [two] Test matches he played he got 13 wickets so I think he's a quality spinner, no doubt to me he would be the best spinner on show in this series.

"He's always a wicket-taking option for us but not only a wicket-taking option, brings a bit more slip catching, he can bat and he brings a lot of control."

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Story first published: Thursday, July 23, 2020, 22:00 [IST]
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