Jason Holder Confident Ahead Of The South African Challenge

Holder believes West Indies and South Africa will start on a
Holder believes West Indies and South Africa will start on a "level playground" when they take each other on in Sydney
©REUTERS / Action Images

West Indies captain Jason Holder says he and his team are confident ahead of playing South Africa during their World Cup fixture on Friday in Sydney despite losing 4-1 to the Proteas recently.

Holder, denying South Africa will have the psychological edge when they meet each other, said both teams will begin on a "level playground".

“Everything is a different ball game," he said.

“We are into the World Cup. The past we had in South Africa is gone.

“We are coming off with two wins and we have some momentum going into this game."

During the 4-1 series win, AB de Villiers scored the fastest One-Day International hundred against the West Indies tearing their bowlers apart.

However, the 23-year-old believes West Indies need to stick to their own plan rather than getting intimidated by the big names they will come up against.

“I have played against the entire team and you have particular stand out players.

"You can’t underestimate them, in the sense you need to pay special attention to them.

"If we stick to the plan and execute them, we will be better off.

"Both teams are basically on a level playground."

Holder confirmed that left-arm-spinner, Sulieman Benn missed the previous game against Zimbabwe due to a back injury and has been monitored carefully.

“Bennie (Benn) missed the last game due to injury.

“We just monitored him. The scans and everything showed no real damage to his back.

“That’s a good sign for us. Hopefully we will see how he pulls up tomorrow and make a decision based on the conditions.”

Despite the two massive wins over Pakistan and Zimbabwe, Holder insisted that the bowling unit needed to be consistent, especially during the powerplay overs.

“We have been inconsistent when we bowl.

“We need to control the mandatory powerplay overs, having said that we generally bowl well in the middle.

“We need to be little more tighter, consistent and bowl particularly well to our field.”

The Barbadian couldn’t control his emotion when asked about Chris Gayle’s return of form stating the entire team rallied around the Jamaican.

“We always rallied around Chris. He brings a different atmosphere and fun to the dressing room

“He is a big team man. His presence is pretty much felt in the dressing room.

“ It was a really good feeling to see him score not just a hundred but go on to get a double hundred.

“It is something special and he has broken records and he has set path for World cricket.

“His success is crucial to us. We love him and he is a huge member for us. It is good to have him.”

Holder also played down Gayle's absence from training on the eve of the team's crunch game against South Africa.

"In terms of Chris' fitness, obviously he's been struggling over the past with his back.

“So we're trying to monitor him as best as we possibly can."

Having played both their warm-up games in Sydney, the West Indian captain gave insights about the conditions.

“We had our two warm-up games here (Sydney).

“We got a bit of idea on the pitch. It seems to be a good batting track.

“I thought in the second game, we played Scotland it got a bit slow.

“I think the best thing for us is to assess the conditions as early as possible tomorrow and take a decision based on it.”

Holder has copped a lot of criticism after being asked to lead the side at such a young age especially after the loss to Ireland in the opening game of the World Cup but the fast bowler said he was getting to grips with the demands of the leadership role.

"Every day I would say it gets better. Obviously, we have our difficulties inside the dressing room," he admitted.

"Every team has that. But we just try to get the best out of our players, I think the guys are really coming to terms with me being captain.

"I've spoken about building a relationship with the players, and I think I'm getting there slowly but surely.

"It won't happen overnight, but I think the longer I'm here, the more I'll build relationships."

West Indies have faced South Africa five times in World Cups and have won just twice.

© Cricket World 2015 


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