A much-needed break seems to have done West Indies all-rounder Jason Holder a world of good ahead of the South Africa series. The 29-year-old admitted the period of rest following IPL 2021 has left him in a really good place mentally.
South Africa will travel to the Caribbean for the first time in 11 years, as they take on the West Indies in two Tests followed by five T20Is. The only West Indies player to play in all formats, Jason Holder is expected to feature in all the games against the Proteas.
Jason Holder spoke to the Jamaica Observer, sharing his state of mind ahead of the first Test that begins on Thursday.
“I still feel very, very fit and healthy. Mentally, I'm in a really good place. It's good to have a couple of weeks off after a long intense year of international cricket and obviously if you look down the calendar this year, it's pretty intense as well. I'm feeling good, I'm still very, very positive and optimistic about my future in West Indies cricket and, hopefully, I can contribute positively and help us win a few more trophies,” Holder claimed.
Jason Holder has been West Indies’ busiest player over the past couple of years. It all started with the historic tour of England last summer before he shifted his attention to the CPL and the IPL. The No. 1 Test all-rounder then led West Indies on a two-Test tour of New Zealand in December before jetting off to Australia for the Big Bash.
Jason Holder featured in red-ball cricket under Kraigg Brathwaite’s captaincy next, as West Indies took on Sri Lanka in March. His last assignment came a little over a month ago, when he was back with Sunrisers Hyderabad during IPL 2021.
Looking back, Jason Holder admits the last couple of years have been a bit bizarre.
“The last year and a half have been pretty bizarre. I'm probably one of the few that is crossing formats and it's a reflection of my hard work and my contribution to the game. For me, I just try to take it in stride. I just want to be fit and healthy to play each cricket game I'm selected for and just contribute positively,” Holder conceded.
Guys were obviously a little bit rusty: Jason Holder
The West Indies camp took part in an intra-squad four-day practice match last weekend in the build-up to the South Africa Tests. Jason Holder missed the game due to quarantine restrictions, and he admitted the players were a bit rusty having last played international cricket against Sri Lanka at the start of April.
“The guys were obviously a little bit rusty, but slowly but surely you could see the rust dropping off. Hopefully, their mindsets will be in a greater position heading into the Test series which obviously is an important one for us,” Holder concluded.
If he's selected, the South Africa clash will be Jason Holder’s first game since IPL 2021 was abruptly postponed last month.