CHENNAI: Jason Holder has a double century to his name in Tests but not many consider the West Indies' Test captain a genuine all-rounder.
On Friday, the 29-year-old silenced his critics by showcasing his all-round skills and helping Sunrisers Hyderabad beat Royal Challengers Bangalore by six wickets in the IPL Eliminator in Abu Dhabi.
Speaking in a post-match press conference, Holder said that he was plagued by injuries in the last few years and now that he is in good shape, the results are there for everyone to see.
"I've just had more overs in the nets. Had a few injuries in the last couple of years that really hampered my preparations. I had a bad shoulder and surgery in my elbow too. So it's good to have the body in strong shape. I've been able to work hard at practice, fine-tune my skills. I think I'm in a really good space at the moment. I think deeply about execution, which is all about having a clear mind and being calm under pressure," said Holder.
Man of the Match Kane Williamson credited Holder for playing with maturity and said that the wicket was not easy to bat.
"Look it was a tough game. It was never going to be easy against a class side like RCB. The surface was a little tricky and chasing anything on it wasn't easy," said Williamson.
The New Zealand captain believed that negotiating RCB's spinners deftly helped them.
"It was a challenge for us to restrict them (RCB) to that kind of a total. They also had two world-class spinners. We did well to go through their spells without losing too many wickets. Batting at No 4 can vary a lot and becomes surface dependent. A few shots from Jason helped. The guys have been fighting hard. He (Holder) is cooler than me. The all-rounder role in the team has been well held by him (Holder)," opined Williamson.
SRH skipper David Warner was delighted to win the thriller against RCB. He attributed Hyderabad's success to teamwork and had special praise for his bowlers.
"As we knew, we had to beat top three teams to make it to the play-offs. My nails are okay for the moment. They (Natarajan and Rashid) have been of great impact for us. We like to bowl Sandy (Sandeep Sharma) and Holder five overs at the top. Then we try to bowl Rashid and Natarajan in the middle overs. Rashid has a lot of pressure on him to perform. Congratulations to Natarajan. Kane is our banker. He manages to stick in there and plays the pressure innings. I am running out of superlatives for these two blokes (Rashid and Kane)," said Warner.
The Australian opener revealed that understanding the wicket helped his team bowl better and said that now his team is keen to do well against Delhi in Qualifier 2.
"With the class of the batting line up RCB had and the way they struggled, you knew that wicket had something in it. The boys bowled fantastically well in the middle overs. It is too early to say (about final). We obviously have Delhi to play. We have been talking about their (Delhi) world-class bowling. But I am excited," signed off Warner.