BRIDGETOWN, Barbados – Jason Holder is confident of returning to his best one-day form following a recent lean patch, and said he was still adjusting to the transition of being just a player again after being replaced as captain eight months ago.
The 28-year-old all-rounder has been one of the Caribbean side’s most reliable players, especially in Tests and one-day internationals (ODIs), but has averaged just 10 with the bat in his last eight ODIs and taken only six wickets.
“Situations haven’t really gone my way in terms of having an extended time to bat in one-day cricket, which I feel personally has contributed to me not having that score,” the Barbadian told TalkSPORT’s Cricket Collective podcast.
“I’m a batsman who needs a little bit of time to get in and then flourish, and I haven’t had many opportunities to get a solid knock. And then there hasn’t been much Test cricket going on as well … which helps me a lot in terms of spending time at the crease and getting that batting that you would like.
He added: “But I’m not too disheartened, I’ve done a lot of thinking, I’ve done a few technical sessions trying to work through some things that I wanted to correct, and I’m in really good spirits.
“I know the performances will come and I’m just being as patient as I possibly can before that happens. I don’t think it will be long before you see me getting back to my normal self.
“I’m very, very confident. I don’t think it’s a question of my ability, it’s just performing and producing. The structure and dynamics have changed and, obviously, based on how things have gone, it’s little to no time when going in to bat.
“I’ve just got to find ways to cope and produce in these short stints of batting on the international stage.”
Holder, appointed one-day captain six years ago, led West Indies in 86 matches before being sacked last September after overseeing an abysmal World Cup campaign and a subsequent series defeat in the Caribbean to India.
He was replaced by seasoned all-rounder Kieron Pollard with whom he said he shared a strong relationship. And even though his form had dipped, Holder said he tried to contribute to the squad by also sharing his experience when required.
“It’s been tough transitioning back to just a player, and in hindsight thinking back on it, it has been tough to try and understand how to get back in and fit back in as just a player,” explained Holder, currently the world’s leading Test all-rounder.
“Kieron and I are very good. We actually share a lot and I’ve tried my best to help him because in the end the winner has to be West Indies cricket, regardless of who is captaining and who the administrators are.
“It’s just about West Indies cricket, so I do everything in my power to ensure that when we step on a cricket field that we are as prepared as we possibly can – we’ve prepared, we’ve got as much information shared to beat the opposition – so I’ve given him everything I’ve possibly could give him.”
He continued: “Performances probably haven’t been there as I obviously would’ve liked but I’m not too disheartened. I don’t beat myself up, I don’t get too worried because I know my ability and what I can produce. I just know an innings is around the corner, a bowling effort is around the corner.”
Following the regional side’s 2-1 series defeat away to India last December, Holder was rested for a similar three-match ODI series against Ireland last January, and said that break had been crucial to reorganising himself mentally.
“I felt I needed the break after the India series, particularly just to refresh,” he pointed out.
“I’d played every single series the entire year, played County cricket as well, so my batteries needed a little bit of a recharge and, obviously, I needed some time to go away and think about how I wanted to go forward as a player, and trying to work out how just to be a player as opposed to being a captain.”