The West Indies may have had a forgettable showing at the recently concluded Cricket World Cup in New Zealand and Australia. But make no mistake about it, the regional side’s newest captain Jason Holder believes he is the right man for the job.
In describing the opportunity as a challenging one, Holder – who at the age of 23 became the youngest ever captain in the history of the competition – said he would not have taken on such a huge responsibility if he did not think he was capable.
In his first interview since returning home from the World Cup, the towering fast bowler toldBarbados TODAYhis decision to accept the captaincy was not one he took lightly.
“I wouldn’t have accepted the captaincy if I didn’t think that I was capable of doing it,” the 6’7 former student of the St Michael School pointed out during a telephone interview from his Rowan’s Park, St George home this afternoon.
“It was obviously a tough time and a tough decision, but after giving it much thought and speaking to a few people I felt like I could have taken it on. Despite how we performed, I don’t regret taking it on.
“I always knew it was going to be a difficult job…but the main thing for me was to try to understand who I was working with and try to get the best out of them. I was just trying to get everybody working as one to become a strong unit,” Holder added.
Even though the Windies bowed out at the quarterfinal stage, going down to co-hosts New Zealand by 147 runs in a lopsided contest, the talented all-rounder revealed it was a good learning experience.
He admitted that his job was made a little easier since expectations of the team going into the tournament were not that high.
“It was a good experience. Obviously it was the first time I was doing it at that level and expectations really weren’t that high.
“I still think that the guys did reasonably well despite the fact that we played some up and down cricket at times. But it was still a good experience leading the guys and trying to understand how certain individuals work and try to get the best out of them,” Holder explained.
“It was challenging. I don’t think that any captaincy job is easy. It really was challenging at times, especially when we had some tough games where certain batsmen took the game away from us. One of the toughest parts of my job was trying to stop the run flow; in fact I would say that was one of the most challenging aspects for me.”
Despite the low expectations, and an ICC ranking of eighth in the ODI format, Holder said he always felt the West Indies were good enough to win the tournament.
However, he blamed the team’s lacklustre performance on inconsistency, saying they struggled to put together good showings with both bat and ball.
“I expected us to win the World Cup to be honest. You don’t go into a tournament not thinking you can win it…but we had to be consistent and play consistently well throughout, but we just didn’t do that.
“We just fell down with the bat and in some games we really didn’t bowl well. We really struggled to put together a complete game,” Holder outlined.
He also said he had drawn some confidence from the positive feedback which he had received, notably those from cricketing legends Brian Lara and Michael Holding, who both publicly endorsed Holder’s appointment.
“A lot of people have been giving me some good feedback about how I performed. Obviously it gives you confidence to know that other people have belief in you, but I think the belief and the support was around me from the beginning as it related to the management staff, the selection panel and the WICB. That was enough support for me.”