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‘No pressure’, says Holder, as he embraces WI leadership

Published:Tuesday | September 15, 2015 | 9:00 AM
Holder

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):

Newly appointed West Indies Test captain Jason Holder says he is looking forward to the responsibility the new role will bring but says he does not feel under any pressure as he gears up for the assignment.

The 23-year-old fast bowler was announced to replace Denesh Ramdin as Test captain earlier this month, ahead of next month's tour of Sri Lanka.

Holder, also the one-day international captain, is a relative newcomer to international cricket with just eight Tests and 33 ODIs behind him but believes he has what is required to handle the responsibility of leadership.

"At this present time, there's no pressure on me. Obviously, it is something I've done before. I'm the captain of the one-day team," Holder said here yesterday in his first official media conference.

"It's obviously some added responsibility in the Test arena (but) I don't think it is something that I can't handle, if not I would not have taken the job. It's about me gelling the guys together and getting the best out of everybody."

He added: "It is something I am looking forward to. I've done it a little bit in the one-day arena, and it is about translating that into the Test arena now. I've obviously led teams before. I've led Barbados in youth cricket and I've led West Indies A teams, and stuff like that, so I'm not, in a sense, new to it.

"It is something that I've handled in the past before and I don't expect to falter in this arena in a sense. I'm really looking forward to it. I'm always up for the challenge and I will try to take it on as best as I possibly can."

meteoric rise

Holder's rise has been meteoric since his international debut just over two years ago, and he has become an entrenched member of the West Indies in all formats of the game.

Picked for his bowling, he pressed his case as a genuine all-rounder with a maiden Test century against England in Antigua last April and an unbeaten 82 against the touring Australians in Kingston last June.

Holder said that he did not envision the burden of captaincy getting in the way of his continued development as a cricketer.

"It is international cricket; it is international sport. You have to expect these things (leadership roles) as they always come up in international sport," he told journalists.

"It's more responsibility, but I don't think that should impede my cricket. My cricket is at heart first. I have to play as a cricketer first and lead the guys afterwards, and I think once I do that, I don't think it (captaincy) should get in the way of my actual cricket."