Jason Holder still in contention for T20Is: Phil Simmons
West Indies coach Phil Simmons has admitted that Jason Holder is always in contention for the T20I format. His statement comes after Holder was not picked in the white-ball squad for the New Zealand tour. However, Simmons clarified that the incumbent schedule forced the selectors to leave him out of the squad. Presently, Holder is a part of Sunrisers Hyderabad contingent in the UAE.
Simmons explains the decision to leave out Holder. "Jason always has a chance to play T20Is. This is an odd tour. The T20I series finishes a day or two before the first Test match and [Holder] being captain of the Test team, a decision was taken by us as a selection panel that Jason will not be considered for that part," he told ESPNcricinfo.
Holder hasn't featured for West Indies in T20Is since December 2019. However, he has made huge strides in Test cricket of late. Under him, West Indies became the first team to travel overseas for a bilateral cricket assignment amid COVID-19 pandemic. Although England won the three-Test series 2-1, the tourists put up an impressive show by clinching a four-wicket victory in the opener.
Holder is presently the number one all-rounder as per the ICC Test Rankings. During the England Test series, Holder surpassed Brian Lara's record of 10 wins as captain. The WI have now won 11 out of 35 Test matches in Holder's leadership.
Even in the ongoing edition of Indian Premier League, Holder is serving as the marquee all-rounder for Sunrisers Hyderabad. He was roped in by the franchise as a replacement of injured Mitchell Marsh. In the all-important Eliminator tie against Royal Challengers Bangalore, he powered their run-chase alongside Kane Williamson. He will be their key player in the upcoming Qualifier 2 against Delhi Capitals.
Holder has been the mainstay fast bowler for SRH of late. He has also contributed equally with the bat. So far, he has scalped 13 wickets from six games at a phenomenal average of 14.07. He also has 55 runs to his name.
The T20I series between New Zealand and West Indies will begin on November 27 in Auckland, followed by games in Mount Maunganui on 29 and 30. While the Seddon Park in Hamilton will play host to the opening Test from December 3-7, the next Test will be played at the Basin Reserve in Wellington from December 11-15.