Jason Holder Focused on the Present and Not West Indies Rivalry with Australia
The latest chapter in one of cricket’s greatest rivalries is about to be written but West Indies captain Jason Holder is not fussed about the tales that have come before.
Trent Bridge will play host as Holder’s side and Australia renew a battle that goes right to the start of ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup history, with this game a repeat of the first final in 1975.
West Indies came out on top then but it’s their counterparts who have boasted the record since, with no side winning close to the five titles they have in their collection.
Yet when it comes to Thursday’s titanic tussle, what’s written in the history books is firmly in the past for Holder.
Instead the focus is on maintaining the form that inspired victory over Pakistan last Friday, with a tough test in store against an Australia side also on a high from victory over Afghanistan.
“It's always been a great rivalry between West Indies and Australia. I think everybody is expecting a really good contest,” he said.
“We're up for the challenge. I think they're up for the challenge, as well.
“I wouldn't really get too deep into rivalries, but we expect a really good contest from the Australians.
“I'm not caught up with rivalry, I'm not caught up with the past per se. It's a matter for us to go into the game looking to execute our plans and beat Australia.
“We've all seen the way the world cricket has gone the last two years. There have been some high totals and there has been some aggressive stroke play.
“We just want to be as positive as we possibly can be.”
Short bowling has been the order of the day so far in England with Holder’s charges unleashing their skill to devastating effect, bowling Pakistan out for 105 last time out.
The tactic will likely come to the fore once again but at a Trent Bridge ground famed for run-scoring, the challenge is on for the West Indies to repeat the trick.
Firepower with the bat is far from lacking either and while Chris Gayle and Andre Russell are likely to be passed fit to target the short boundaries, Holder believes the dimensions are not as easy as they seem.
“The beauty with both of those guys [Gayle and Russell] is they've played enough cricket. We just tend to trust them, take their word and then make a final determination on the team then,” added the captain.
“Chris was at practice for the last couple days, so he is all well and ready to go for me. Andre will be assessed in training, and we're very, very hopeful that he'll be fit.
“I made a remark to one or two of the guys, I felt like the ground was a little bigger than people think.
“I always back the guys to go with their strengths first, no matter the dimensions of the ground. I think we've just got to hone in on our skills.
“The ground will be one way for both teams; that's one thing guaranteed. That's just our plan.”
© Cricket World 2019