GROS ISLET, Saint Lucia – As the leading all-rounder in Test cricket, Jason Holder is hoping to have a significant impact in the upcoming Betway Test series against South Africa. The countdown is on to the start of the first match at the Daren Sammy Cricket Stadium on Thursday and Holder is eager to return to the red-ball format.
“One of the things that I pride myself on, is enjoying what I am doing and making sure I contribute positively to every facet of the game. Obviously, I am an all-rounder, and I am asked to make runs and take wickets. So, for me, it’s whatever I can do to help the team win cricket games.”
Along with occupying the top spot on the all-rounder’s table, the 29-year-old is also ranked in the Top 10 bowlers. He spoke to CWI Media after he left quarantine and joined the other West Indies players at their pre-series camp.
“I think both bowling attacks are very, very, solid. Our bowling attack in the Caribbean has proven to be one of the best. South Africa’s bowling attack also does an outstanding job for them, so it pretty much balances off itself in terms of the bowling lineups. My take is that this series will be won by the team who performs best with the bat,” he added.
West Indies have made an unbeaten start to the year – a spectacular and historic 2-0 win in Bangladesh in February and then a hard-fought 0-0 series against Sri Lanka on home soil in March. West Indies last played South Africa in 2014-2015 and the Proteas last played in the Caribbean back in 2010.
“This series is a very big one and a very important one for us. I played against South Africa in my second and third Test matches. It was down in South Africa and we haven’t played them since then, so I’m really looking forward to this series,” Holder said. “It’s obviously a big series for us. South Africa are a very, very good cricket side. We’re looking forward to it (as a team) and I’m personally looking forward to it.”
Jason returned to training on Tuesday, June 1, while the players were engaged in the ‘Best v Best’ four-day match and even joined them on the final day in the field to help keep the energy levels high. He has since been a part of a few intense sessions with the squad and looks fit and ready to go for the first test.
While the World Test Championships finalists have already been determined, this series carries a high level of significance for both teams, considering their closeness in the table. West Indies are in the sixth position on 200 points, while South Africa are in seventh on 144 points. This will surely make for a fiercely contested test series.