Hyderabad didn’t waste much time to replace Mitchell Marsh after the Australian all-rounder was ruled out of action due to an ankle injury, which he suffered in the team’s first match of the Indian T20 League 2020 season against Bangalore.
However, his replacement Jason Holder – West Indies’ Test captain – isn’t just joining the squad to make up the numbers. Holder has previously represented Chennai, Kolkata and Indian T20 League 2020 will be the second time that he will be joining HYD.
And while his earlier stints in the Indian T20 League didn’t exactly set the league ablaze, there is evidence to suggest that a more mature and rounded Holder is capable of having more of an impact on his team’s fortunes in this season than any of the past editions.
More experienced and with a better of idea of the pressure and what to expect in the Indian T20 League now, Holder will back himself to make telling contributions with both bat and the ball. Whether or not his efforts will be enough to fill the void in the squad left by Marsh remains to be seen but a closer look at both players’ T20 records suggests that there’s not much to separate the two of them.
|Mitchell Marsh||Stat||Jason Holder|
|124.25||Batting Striker Rate||128.76|
|19.8||Bowling Striker Rate||25.8|
While Holder’s 91 T20 wickets are far better than Marsh’s 49 scalps on the bowling front, the Australian boasts a better average (28.25) and strike rate (19.8) with the ball in hand. Holder, who bowls at an average of 33.01 and with a strike rate of 25.8, has a better economy rate (7.67) than Marsh’s (8.51) in T20s.
Marsh (30.5) also gets the better of Holder (14.16) in terms of batting average in T20s, but it’s the latter who shades the former when it comes to striking with the willow in hand. Holder’s batting strike rate of 128.76 is slightly better than Marsh’s 124.25.
Holder’s Indian T20 League record of five wickets and 38 runs from 11 matches may not make for kind reading, but the West Indies Test captain is a completely different player now. He has grown as a cricketer in all formats since his last Indian T20 League in 2016 and will be eager to contribute to the team.
The 28-year-old all-rounder from Barbados will take heart from his performances in the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL). Holder enjoyed his best-ever performances with the bat in CPL 2020 with 192 runs at an average of 21.3 and a strike rate of 140.2 to show for his effort.
His best of 69 against Jamaica Tallawahs in CPL 2020 was a Man of the Match effort, and in total, he struck 15 fours and 12 sixes in the tournament, demonstrating his development into a fine all-rounder.
That said, most will argue that his strength lies with the ball and his numbers in last month’s CPL back it up. Holder took 10 wickets in as many CPL 2020 innings at a commendable average of 21.9, an economy rate of 6.6 and a strike rate of 19.8.
Needless to say, if Holder can replicate any of the aforementioned numbers in the Indian T20 League for Hyderabad, he will be a hit for the franchise. Given the fact that he hasn’t always covered himself in glory in his past Indian T20 Leagues as well as his coming of age as West Indies skipper in recent times, the ongoing season could well be the campaign when Holder showed the rest of the world the extent of his potential in franchise T20's grandest extravaganza.
Caribbean all-rounders come at a premium in T20 cricket and with some good performances to back him up, there’s no reason why Holder can’t be bracketed with his more celebrated and feared T20 compatriots like Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard and Dwayne Bravo.