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Holder, Windies keen to build on strong start
NAPIER, New Zealand—Jason Holder said West Indies are eager to build on the momentum they gained from their victory in the first One-day International against New Zealand. The lanky Windies fast bowler was speaking ahead of the second ODI, a day/night fixture which was scheduled to take place last night Caribbean Time at McLean Park here. The visitors lead the five-match series 1-0, after a two-wicket victory in a low-scoring contest in a day/night affair at Eden Park in the New Zealand Super City of Auckland. “It was a good start to the series for us, exactly what we wanted, the momentum going into the next few games,” said Holder. “Obviously, the result were not what we wanted coming out of the preceding Test series and so the captains have changed, the mood has changed, so we are in a different spirit and heading forward.” “We have a really good team spirit going right now. It is very important that we find ways to keep it going and keep improving. We are looking towards the 2015 World Cup, so it all starts here and every series we play until then.”
Holder collected two wickets in the first ODI and made a significant impact with the new ball alongside Ravi Rampaul and was keen to continue in this vein. “The early over were very crucial in the game,” he said. “We felt there was a bit in the pitch early on so we tried to make full use of it. I didn’t get the wickets up front, but Ravi got two early scalps, so my job was to keep it tight. I came back for my second spell and got a couple wickets so I'm enjoying the dynamic between Ravi and myself.” The McLean Park pitch looked to be a belter on the eve of the match and Holder recognised the short square boundaries could be a challenge in trying to keep a lid on the New Zealanders’ batting. “As a professional, you always have to make adjustments to your game to accommodate the conditions,” he said. “We will have to see how it goes with the first few overs, it’s a smaller ground and then make the adjustments. “I am constantly working on my game. I’m working on putting on a few more miles an hour and try to get the ball through a little quicker. At this time, I am taking it stage by stage. I am not fighting it, trying to bowl faster at the expense of accuracy. I think the speed will come in time as I get stronger and play more cricket and it will become a great asset.”
The 22-year-old Holder is on his first trip to New Zealand with the senior West Indies side, although it’s not unfamiliar territory for him. He was a member of the Young West Indies side that played in the ICC Youth World Cup here four years ago. Holder said he wanted to use every opportunity to cement his place in the side with a view to earning a place in the Test side. “Obviously, Test cricket is the point where I want to get,” he said. “At the moment, the selectors have not chosen me for Test matches, but I will just keep doing what I am doing and I will hopefully get there soon. “I believe playing Tests would improve my cricket a lot more. I would have more time in the middle bowling, as well as batting, since I consider myself a decent batsman. At this stage, it is just about getting here and staying here.” Holder has identified former Barbados and West Indies fast bowler Ezra Moseley as the major influence on his bowling during his high school years when he was a student of The St. Michael School, located in the Barbados capital of Bridgetown.
He however, has come under the direction of West Indies fast bowling legend Curtly Ambrose playing for the Combined Campuses & Colleges in the West Indies first-class and domestic limited-overs tournaments, and Courtney Walsh, another West Indies fast bowling legend, when he played for the Young Windies, but revealed other influences. “We have some pretty good legends like Curtly Ambrose and Courtney Walsh to whom I looked up to when I was a kid,” he said. “I also learnt a lot from watching Andrew Flintoff in the 2005 Ashes – which I think was one of the best series I have ever watched in my life. I just try to emulate those types of bowlers because they were tall like me and I try to do best.” On working closely with Ambrose, he said: “Ambrose was a disciplinarian and he tried to get my bowling as precise as possible. He would always stress on the fine things and worked on getting me to bowl as consistently as possible.”
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