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ICC CRICKET WORLD CUP

June 5, 2019

Jason Holder

West Bridgford, Nottinghamshire, England, UK

Q. Have you got an update on the fitness of some of your players, Andre and Chris? They had a few problems at the end of the match against Pakistan. Can you update us on how they are and what they've been doing over the past few days?
JASON HOLDER: Yeah, we've had a few days off. Yeah, they have been recovering quite nicely. We expect both of them to hopefully be fit and ready to go tomorrow. We've still got some more time until the game tomorrow morning, so then we'll make a final decision in the morning.

Q. Of all your rivalries, where do you put this rivalry between West Indies and Australia in your time, and is this the most "edge" you've seen between the two teams, especially in one-day cricket, since the time you started playing?
JASON HOLDER: It's always been a great rivalry between West Indies and Australia. I think everybody is expecting a really good contest. We're up for the challenge. I think they're up for the challenge, as well. Yeah, I wouldn't really get too deep into rivalries, but we expect a really good contest from the Australians.

Q. A lot of people are riding the West Indies' chances of doing something in this tournament. How big is this game, this opportunity to, I guess, instil some belief amongst yourselves that you can go on and do something against a big team like Australia?
JASON HOLDER: Yeah, we're just taking it game by game. Tomorrow is our country versus Australia. We've got a hurdle to overcome. I think when we overcome that hurdle, then we'll move deeper into the tournament. But I just don't want to single out teams particularly. I think all teams are evenly matched and well-balanced, so it's just a matter of playing good cricket on any given day. That's our rule. We want to execute in all three departments.

Q. Does Pakistan's display against England suggest that your win over them is actually better than many people gave credit for?
JASON HOLDER: Well, I don't think so. As I said, it's a wide-open tournament. All 10 teams are capable of lifting the World Cup. That's why we're here, they're the 10 best teams in the world. So I wouldn't get into the games that have been played. I just want to keep moving forward. We've played Pakistan already and that's a hurdle that we've overcome. We've got Australia tomorrow, and that's our next hurdle, and that's what I want to focus on.

Q. Standing out at square leg it gives you an impression of just how small this ground is. Do you think you can do some real damage if you get to bat first and let your hitters have their way?
JASON HOLDER: Yeah, when we bat we just want to execute our batting plans. We've all seen the way the world cricket has gone the last couple months -- well, last two years per se. And there have been some high totals and there have been some aggressive stroke play. We just want to be as positive as we possibly can be. I think whether we bat first or if we chase, we've got to show intent. Intent is something that we spoke about in the dressing room, and it's something that we want to go about our goal with when we go into our innings. Yeah, I don't want to get too caught up with the conditions, but at the end of the day I just want the guys to show intent and be fearless.

Q. In that one particularly short boundary, what challenge does that present to you in defending it? And what advantages does it give you when you've actually got a bat in hand with your big hitters?
JASON HOLDER: You know, I made a remark to one or two of the guys, I felt like the ground was a little bigger than people think. There's obviously a massive wind factor, as well, which tends to play on your mind, and obviously you have to account for it into your plans.

Yeah, we've played on a number of grounds with this short side, and this is something you've just got to cope with. I always back the guys to go with their strengths first, no matter the dimensions of the ground. I think we've just got to hone in on our skills. The ground will be one way for both teams; that's one thing guaranteed. That's just our plan.

Q. Does the fact you played here a week ago give you some kind of slight advantage or I guess knowledge going into tomorrow's game?
JASON HOLDER: Yeah, we obviously had one game here before. We bowled 22 overs in the game. We didn't get a full allotment. But having said that, we've got a little bit of knowledge about the ground, how the wicket plays. But having said that, there are quite a few strips on this square. I'm not sure which one we're on tomorrow. I just think it's a situation whether we bat or bowl first, we need to assess the conditions as early as possible and then play to suit.

Q. You don't get to play Australia much over the next three years under the new Future Tours program. Is that disappointing, and perhaps a sign the rivalry between Australia and West Indies isn't as great as what it was in the '80s and '90s?
JASON HOLDER: I'm not sure. One thing I'm sure of is that's beyond my control. I don't plan the cricket, I just play it.

At the end of the day, as I said, tomorrow is a game against Australia, and that's who we're focused on. I'm not caught up with rivalry, I'm not caught up with the past per se. It's a matter for us to go into tomorrow's game looking to execute our plans and beat Australia.

Q. You used the short ball very well against Pakistan. How big of a tactic will it be against Australia?
JASON HOLDER: I guess it all boils down to the conditions. One thing I said in the last press conference is that we tend to formulate our plans to each batter. If it's a situation where we feel a batsman may be susceptible to the short ball, then we're going to use it. If it's a situation where that's not the case, then we'll find other alternatives. It's just not stuck on the short ball. I think all the teams so far have used the short ball, and it's just something that's in the game. You've got two short balls per over; you might as well use them.

Q. Just following up on Chris Gayle and Andre Russell's fitness, do they need to kind of get through training today to be able to play tomorrow, and if they were out, would that be a bit of a disruption?
JASON HOLDER: I think the beauty with both of those guys is they've played enough cricket. We just tend to trust them, take their word and then make a final determination then. Chris was at practice for the last couple days, so Chris for me is all well and ready to go. Andre will be obviously assessed today, and we're very, very hopeful that he'll be fit tomorrow.

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