Holder has the skills to lead, says NZ fast bowling legend

WELLINGTON, New Zealand, CMC – Fast bowling great Sir Richard Hadlee has given Jason Holder a ringing endorsement, saying he is impressed with the cricketing skills and leadership of the young West Indies captain.

West Indies fast bowling legend Sir Curtly Ambrose and New Zealand fast bowling legend Sir Richard Hadlee hold the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy after a media conference at the Basin Reserve on March 19. WICB Media Photo/Philip Spooner
West Indies fast bowling legend Sir Curtly Ambrose and New Zealand fast bowling legend Sir Richard Hadlee hold the ICC Cricket World Cup trophy after a media conference at the Basin Reserve on March 19. WICB Media Photo/Philip Spooner

The former New Zealand fast bowler was speaking to a packed media conference at the Basin Reserve yesterday afternoon.

Together with West Indies bowling great, Sir Curtly Ambrose, he was previewing the all-important World Cup quarter-final between the New Zealanders and the Windies scheduled for the Wellington Regional Stadium tomorrow.

“I like the look of the captain Jason Holder he seems very calm for someone so young and someone carrying so much responsibility,” said Sir Richard.

“He has formed a good new ball partnership with Jerome Taylor and I also like the look of him as well. They give the West Indies attack something to work with at the top.”

He added: “It is good when you have someone (Holder) so young who can take the team forward. He is handling himself quite well.”

Sir Curtly also lauded the work of Holder and Taylor with the new ball, and backed the Windies to turn the tables on the unbeaten Black Caps tomorrow.

“The combination of Taylor and Holder is working pretty well for us at the moment,” said Sir Curtly, the Windies bowling coach.

“We all know how talented captain Holder is. Taylor is a wonderful bowler, swings the ball as well and they’re going to be key, I believe, to start the innings.”

Taylor has taken 14 wickets at the World Cup at 18.35 apiece to be the West Indies leading bowler.

He was out of the game for several years but made a successful comeback last year. He has an impressive ODI record with 120 wickets in 78 matches at an average of 27 runs per wicket, an economy rate of under five runs per over and a strike rate of 32.

Holder, meanwhile, was a surprise choice when he was named to take over from Dwayne Bravo as the 50-overs captain.

The decision to turn to the 23-year-old was taken last December ahead of the One-Day International series in South Africa and Clive Lloyd, chairman of selectors, tipped Holder “as a young man with a good cricket brain”.

So far in the world Cup Holder has impressed with his calm authority as well as his classy batting and wicket-taking ability with the new ball. He made 56 against South Africa and top scored against India with a career-best 57.

In last Sunday’s must-win game against the United Arab Emirates he took four wickets to earn the Man of the Match award, as West Indies clinched a quarter-final spot.

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