Team is important, not individual merit - Holder
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC):
Captain Jason Holder says he is already eyeing another successful year in international cricket but also wants to see the Windies excel, starting with the upcoming series against powerful England.
The Barbadian all-rounder was one of the leading bowlers in Tests for 2018, snaring 33 wickets at 11.87 - the best average by any bowler in a calendar year in 100 years.
He now lies 10th in the ICC bowling rankings and second in the all-rounders rankings but Holder said that whatever his achievements, they needed to help drive Windies' overall success.
"Obviously my goal is to be the number one all-rounder but there is a bigger picture in front of me and that's for us to lift this [Wisden] Trophy," Holder told reporters here.
"We've had individual brilliance within the last two years so it's a matter for us to put it together. I would feel a lot better for us to put it together as a side than for me to continue (in my personal goals).
"I'll do whatever it takes to compete and get the job done for the team, whether it is scoring a hundred or taking seven or eight wickets. I'm willing to put up my hands for the sake of the team.
"If we can get that attitude going throughout the team, the team would definitely be headed in the right direction."
Holder missed the ill-fated tour of Bangladesh with a shoulder injury as the Caribbean side suffered a devastating 2-0 whitewash.
He underwent successful rehabilitation and recently turned out for Barbados Pride in their third-round match of the Regional first-class championship against leaders Guyana Jaguars.
He managed only a single wicket and sent down 17 overs in Jaguars' massive first-innings total of 548, and did not bowl in the second innings with the visitors requiring only 45 runs to win.
Holder said his recovery had gone well and that while he was not yet back to 100 per cent, he would be in match condition in time for the opening Test starting January 23 at the Oval.
"I felt the rehab went pretty well. I had four solid weeks in England doing some rehab, and I've just got back into playing cricket," he said.
"I'm still probably not a hundred per cent but hopefully come [the first Test], I'll be there or thereabouts."
He continued: "I felt the body held up pretty well. I have to keep building and keep the strengthening going and obviously keep my body active as much as possible.
"It's been a long time away, so you expect some stiffness and soreness after not playing for quite some time, so it's just a matter of negotiating that and keep pressing forward."