Consistency over pace does the trick for Holder


By Akeem Greene

Given the height and built of Jason Holder, you might associate him with releasing thunderbolts of pace or constantly rattling a batsman’s helmet, but that’s far from reality.

He is more of a ‘Gentle Giant’ whose consistency in line and length and ability to move the ball either way is most impeccable.

Holder took a career-best 6-42 on Thursday’s second day in the first Test against England at the Ageas Bowl and later revealed his sights are not set on producing menacing pace like his teammates, but rather being patient and building pressure.

“I don’t get caught up with the pace, you always look at the wickets column. For me, consistency breeds wickets for me. I really stress on being consistent and building pressure,” he stated at the virtual post-play briefing.

“Once we can build pressure from two ends, it’s a massive set of pressure posed on the opposition’s batting.”

The Bajan has the height of Michael ‘White Lightning’ Holding, but unlike the Jamaican, Holder simply looks to let the ball ‘kiss’ the surface of the pitch. Around the wicket, he trapped Ben Stokes on the crease, the left-hander edging to the keeper for 43.

“It was a big wicket to get; Stokesy was looking quite set, we put down two chances and he was looking to make us pay for them. When I came on his partnership with Jos [Buttler] was now looking to blossom and it was just important for us to break that partnership before it materialised into something that can really hurt us.”

“I just wanted to be really consistent to him; he was really settled and countering the line we were bowling by walking across or walking down but for me it was just getting enough movement to keep him at bay and more of less keep him playing and eventually, I got the edge.”

Holder’s figures were the fourth best by a captain since the turn of the century and his sixth five-for in his last nine Tests. Scoring a century in England is next up on Holder’s to-do list.

“I enjoyed the conditions, I enjoyed the surface and I had not gotten a five-wicket haul the last trip [in 2017] and I really wanted to get up on the honours board at Lord’s. We were scheduled to play at Lord’s, but due to the COVID situation we had shuffle things around.”

He added “One of the things I always strive to do particularly when I get the chance to play against England is to score a hundred in England and take a five-wicket haul. I have ticked one box so far so I guess it is left for me to knuckle down and get a hundred.”

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