By Khurram Habib
Sharjah, Nov 3 (IANS) Fast bowler Jason Holder’s fine run with the ball in the Indian Premier League (IPL), especially at the ‘death’, continued on Thursday with the West Indies captain picking two wickets for 25 to help SunRisers Hyderabad (SRH) restrict Mumbai Indians (MI) below 150.
While the spinners bowled well too in the earlier phases of the game, it was Holder’s two overs at the ‘death’ on Tuesday that restricted a dangerous-looking Kieron Pollard from running away with the game.
Holder, who had been part of the squad but was not played until October 22, has already picked 10 wickets at an average of under 16 in the five matches he has played so far, giving SRH a seam bowling option to support leg-spinner Rashid Khan, who appeared to be the lone ranger after Bhuvneshwar Kumar had to leave the tournament due to injury.
Since he began playing, Holder has performed well in all phases, including at the ‘death’ where SRH were lacking. He has conceded 47 runs in six overs, picking six wickets in the phase between the 17-20 overs. While his economy rate in this phase has been under six, he has averaged just under eight for every wicket in ‘death’ overs.
Holder, despite being an international star and providing all-round option, was surprisingly not played even after Bhuvneshwar was injured and SRH went into five games after the India pacer’s last match on October 2, trying other Indian bowlers who leaked runs and found difficult to control runs at the end.
In four of the five games between October 2, when Bhuvneshwar played his last game, and 22, when Holder played his first match, SRH bowlers conceded 59, 58, 48, and 52 runs in ‘death’ overs at a rate of 13.56 per over. (The fifth game, on October 8, didn’t see the ‘death’ overs as KXIP were bowled out in the 17th over itself).
However, since Holder came in on October 22, SRH bowlers have conceded 41, 32, 28 (in three overs), 21 and 30 at a rate of just eight an over.
No wonder, Kumar Sangakkara was all praise for the bowler on STAR Sports during the mid-match break, saying, “He began as a Test specialist, played the ODIs, and now he is playing well in the T20 format.”