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Holder has mental strength for Stokes battle: Simmons

 

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Jason Holder

Jason Holder

PA

Jason Holder

West Indies coach Phil Simmons has challenged Jason Holder to "get on top" in his battle with fellow captain and all-rounder Ben Stokes this week.

When Holder's men line up against Stokes' England at the Ageas Bowl tomorrow, the duo will be firmly in the spotlight.

Not only do both men play vital roles with bat and ball, each regularly stands in the slip cordon and now, following Stokes' temporary promotion as a replacement for father-to-be Joe Root, they will go head-to-head as leaders too.

"I think that it's going to be a toss-up between these two all-rounders and hopefully Jason can do what's necessary to get on top of Ben in this first Test," said Simmons.

"Jason has played enough Test cricket now to know what he's working on and, mentally, he's where he wants to be.

"I think Ben is one of them who leads from the front. That's to be shown by all his exploits before in cricket and we will have to make sure that we get on to him very early, because he likes to do what is necessary for his team.

"Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad and people like that are around so there's a lot of experience to help him on the field if he comes a cropper."

Belfast Telegraph