“Jason Holder is actually more than just a bowler who can contribute with the bat. In fact, he has always been. There is more to him than he actually realizes”
Jason Holder considers himself more of a bowling all-rounder, a bowler capable of making handy contributions with the bat.
Although he has made valuable contributions on numerous occasions to the West Indies team lower down the order, he has always considered his bowling to be his dominant strength. Even his physical stature—broad shoulders, a strong body and height over 2 metres—gives the impression of a fearsome fast bowler as well.
However, he is actually more than that. In fact, he has always been. There is more to his batting strength than he actually realizes. He has always underestimated the abilities of the batsman in himself. The fact came to the fore once again on Monday, when he remained stranded at one end on a score of 54 runs as West Indies lost the match to India by a massive margin of 224 runs, at Mumbai.
When the Windies top order had no answers to the questions raised by the Indian bowlers, it was Holder who helped his team in adding some sort of respectability to the score, after walking out to bat at 47/5. He rallied along with the tail and added 106 more runs with the last five wickets.
The pressure was immense in the middle considering the way the Indian bowlers were bowling. While all their top order batsmen succumbed to it, Holder stood firmly at the crease with a monk-like determination. Not only that, he also churned out runs in the process.
Players like Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope have already shown what they can do with the bat. Although they failed yesterday, their recent contributions in the middle order are making the Caribbean nation hopeful of a decent World Cup run. Once players like Evin Lewis and Chris Gayle return, the top order will be sorted out too. Andre Russell’s return will also add some much-needed firepower to their lower order.
However, still, there will be one link missing in their lower middle order. They still need a batsman who can hold things up at one end, someone around whom the West Indies lower middle order can revolve in case of a collapse. And that link can be established by none other than the skipper Holder himself.
Holder’s overall ODI batting average stands at 26.88. In 69 innings, he has amassed 1398 runs and those runs include seven scores of 50 or more, with a best of an unbeaten 99. All these runs have come while batting at No. 6 or further down the order. So that gives a fair idea about his consistent contributions lower down the order.
But he can do more than that if he bats consistently at No.6 from now onwards. Most recently, he was batting at No. 6 as they struggled to find a batsman who could own that position. Now that they have Rovman Powell, Holder has gone back to his preferred No. 7 position again. But statistics back the fact that his best came while batting at No. 6. Let’s take a look at his batting numbers at different positions in his career thus far.
No. 6 : Inn-16 Runs-442 Avg-31.57 SR-99.54 50s-3
No. 7: Inn:24 Runs-528 Avg-27.78 SR-87.12 50s-2
No.8: Inn:12 Runs-148 Avg-21.14 SR-118.40 50s-0
No.9: Inn: 14 Runs-261 Avg-26.10 SR- 87.29 50s-2
The above numbers clearly show how his numbers at No. 6 are way better than that lower down the order. He scores at almost a run-a-ball at that position and average of 31.57 proves that he has been fairly successful at that position too.
Even an average of over 25 at No. 7 and 9 are better than most players batting at that position. We can only imagine what he can do if he realizes the full batting potential in himself and considers batting higher up in the coming time ahead. Moreover, he has also been involved in a total of 10 fifty run stands at these positions and that tells a lot about his partnership building abilities too.
So his promotion higher up the order seems crucial for West Indies to have a decent run in the World Cup. He is the captain of this side and he has to realise the potential of the batsman in himself. He needs to do what is necessary for this team and he has to realize that soon.