In a chat with ESPNcricinfo, former West Indies captain and senior all-rounder Jason Holder spoke about the future of West Indies cricket as well as the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Holder prides himself as a senior player who guides the youngsters in the Royals team. Having witnessed Ramon Simmonds’ progress up close, he gave the 20-year-old left-arm seamer glowing praise.
“Ramon Simmonds has really impressed me… To just see his composure under pressure and then him having the confidence to execute slower balls and yorkers to big players at big stages of the game is quite impressive.”
Simmonds is playing his first CPL season and has come forward to bowl tough overs for the Royals. Sensing this, Royals management (Paarl Royals) took him for SA 20 as well.
“The main thing for them [youngsters] is to understand themselves and that’s something I had to work out coming up as a youngster as well. For me it’s important, I help pave the way for them to understand themselves. Once I do that, I think the execution becomes a lot easier for them. Someone like Ramon Simmonds has really impressed me, particularly because this is the first time I’ve played with him.”
To just see his composure under pressure and then him having the confidence to execute slower balls and yorkers to big players at big stages of the game is quite impressive to me. I think he has talent that not many people can boast of at such a young age. Once he continues to develop, the sky’s the limit for him.”
He also shared his thoughts on Obed McCoy, the other left-handed pacer who has been central to the Royals’ run to the playoffs, forming a powerful partnership with Holder. McCoy and Holder have now taken a combined 29 wickets with their changes.
Obed McCoy has been in considerable form for the West Indies these days but has been caught under attack at some times.
However, in the last few matches, he has played the role of a regular in the set-up as well as a pure match-winner. McCoy is a specialist death bowler and has a lot of variety in his bowling arsenal.
He can bowl slow yorkers with precision along with off-cutters that can trouble the batsmen. Jason commented on his (McCoy) development:
“Obed has obviously been around now for a couple of years and his skill level is right up there, He’s probably one of the most skilled bowlers that we’ve produced in a very long time, and it is showing – he has been successful around the world. He has played in the IPL, and county cricket, he has done well in the Caribbean as well. Again, if he continues to develop and understands himself, then nobody can really stop him.” Holder said.
Also, Jason further mentioned that he would teach them what he knows like a father.
“He has got the talent and all the deliveries you could think of. So, it is important for me to continue to help them. Whatever they ask, just try to have answers for them. If I don’t have answers at a particular time, [I] try my best to find them and help them as much as I can. It’s like being a parent. I don’t have any children, but I see them as my little sons. So, it has been great so far and I’ve enjoyed it-not only on the field but off the field as well.”