Jason Holder: Outside noise won’t stop, our focus is to shut it out

INTERVIEW: The West Indies all-rounder says his priority is to be consistent and dependable for his team.

Jason Holder...“Like any other player, you want to be getting a fair run in a squad to really unleash your true potential and I have had my fair share of opportunities. All that is required is for me to learn and develop to make use of those opportunities.”   -  AFP

On a personal front, Jason Holder had a good start to the tour of India as he scored 57 in the first One-Day International, even though West Indies suffered a six-wicket defeat.

The fast bowling all-rounder feels that the team needs to bat deep in the forthcoming fixtures in a bid to ensure a fightback in the three-match series. In a conversation with Sportstar on the eve of the crucial second ODI at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Wednesday, Holder speaks about his role in the team, the areas it can improve upon, and more.

Q. West Indies came to India after a T20 series win against England. But how challenging is it for a team to tour India, where conditions are different?

A. India is always a challenging team as they are extremely competitive and talented. You have not only the conditions to handle but also the opposition within those conditions which makes it a good contest.

Is the lack of genuine spinner hurting the West Indies in its tour to the sub-continent?

Akeal (Hosein) is a frontline spinner and has had success so far in his short career. We must give him time and guidance in order for him to grow.

Over the last few months, there have been several controversies off the field. Being a senior member of the team and an erstwhile captain, how do you ensure that the squad stays together and motivated?

We stay together by doing things together off the field and sharing as much information as possible to help each other. The outside noise will never stop, so it’s all about being focussed to shut it out.

What are the specific roles for you and Kieron Pollard?

My role is to be a facilitator and carry out the template for the way in which we want to play. Also, to simply perform my all-round skill sets as a player.

Do you think that you are batting too low at No. 7?

I bat wherever the team requires. My challenge is using the opportunities to make runs.

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Do you think that your batting is often not talked about?

I don’t care who talks about it. For me, my focus is all about being consistent and dependable for the team.

Over the years, you have developed yourself as an all-rounder. How would you assess this journey?

I think I have grown over the years through the opportunities that I have been given. Like any other player, you want to be getting a fair run in a squad to really unleash your true potential and I have had my fair share of opportunities. All that is required is for me to learn and develop to make use of those opportunities.

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How does the team address inability to bat 50 overs since the World Cup is next year and in tough conditions in India?

We have to dig deep and bat deeper into the innings. Our top order must take that responsibility and control the innings.

'We must give him time and guidance in order for him to grow.' - Holder on Akeal Hosein (in picture)

 

Do you think other teams are catching up with West Indies’ big hitting style in T20s?

I don’t think it’s a matter of catching up to us. I think each team has their strengths, ours is definitely our power but there’s more to winning cricket games than just having power. We need to improve our skills to then be better ready for match scenarios.

With the IPL auction scheduled over the weekend, a lot of West Indies players will be up for grabs. Do you think that with two new teams coming in, you have a really good chance of bagging a lucrative offer since most franchises are looking at a genuine fast bowling all-rounder?

The auction is beyond my control. I am focused on the series which we are playing and if I’m to merit anything in IPL, it’s got to be through my performances. So, let’s see.

Your memories from the previous editions of the IPL...

I’ve enjoyed IPL as it’s arguably the biggest T20 league. It presents plenty of challenges but what stands out for me is the friendships I’ve built over the years.

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