West Indies in New Zealand 2013-14 December 28, 2013

Holder predicts strong WI bowling show

Renaldo Matadeen

Jason Holder, the West Indies fast bowler, believes his new-ball partnership with Ravi Rampaul can pose a threat to New Zealand's batting line-up ahead of the second ODI in Napier on Sunday.

Holder and Rampaul had opened the bowling in the first ODI in Auckland, which West Indies won by two wickets, and their impressive early charge reduced New Zealand to 15 for 3 in eight overs. The pair finished with two wickets apiece and conceded only around three runs an over in the innings, and Holder said he wanted to extend that form into the second match.

"Winning the opening ODI was a good start. We're right where we want to be and we're looking to carry that momentum through," he said. "The spirits are lifted and the mood has changed. We're more positive. I enjoyed bowling with Ravi as we both know how crucial those early overs are.

"Just like the Auckland pitch in the first ODI, I'm eager to make full use of the pitch (in Napier). Ravi got two early in the last game and it was my job to keep it tight. I came back for my second spell and got a couple wickets so I'm enjoying the dynamic between Ravi and myself. The Christmas bonding as a team has us all in the right frame of mind and we're looking to keep going."

Holder suggested that the track at Napier was flatter compared to the Auckland pitch, and the size of the ground would also be a challenge : "I'll have to adjust here. I can see that and I'll be factoring in that this is a smaller ground. I'll have to utilise the conditions wisely."

On his first tour to New Zealand, Holder is keen to use the series to cement his place in the ODI side as West Indies look to build squad for the 2015 World Cup. Holder was also keen for the exposure in this series given his ambitions of playing Tests as an allrounder, rather than only a bowler.

"Test cricket is a big ambition and hopefully I'll be selected for it soon. Exposure here is a good test right now and I'm improving game by game," Holder said. "I'm an allrounder so I want to make my way up the order and spend more time at the crease and batting in the middle. I want to be more consistent and help win some games."

Holder brushed off the banter with the New Zealand batsmen as friendly and said he wanted to focus on building his speed and using more swing variations to extend his form. Holder credited former West Indies fast bowler Curtly Ambrose for shaping his career.

"Some of the legends I want to be like are Courtney Walsh and Curtly Ambrose, but I also learnt a lot from watching Andrew Flintoff in the 2005 Ashes - one of the best ever," Holder said. "Ambrose was a disciplinarian and he got me to be as precise as I am by stressing on the finer things. Ambrose taught me a lot in my tenure at Combined Colleges and Campuses back in Barbados and I think with more matches under my belt, starting in New Zealand, I'll be able to develop better."

Renaldo Matadeen is a sportswriter and social media manager for ESPN Caribbean. He tweets here

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