After a lean patch in the T20 series against Pakistan and the Big Bash League, Kieron Pollard returned to form for the Mumbai Indians against the Royal Challengers Bangalore at IPL 2017 and led MI to another win over Gujarat Lions. Now, Ricky Ponting has praised him as one of the best in T20's.
Pollard returned to form with a match-winning knock of 70 off just 47 balls against Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Speaking to cricket.com.au, Ponting reminisced about Pollard’s big-hitting abilities by recalling an encounter against SRH in 2013, where Mumbai Indians achieved the required 79 runs in 6 overs thanks to some big hitting from the West Indian and this kind of power hitting is what in Ponting’s opinion makes Pollard one of the best players in the shortest format of the game. Ponting said, “(Pollard and Rohit) are two of the best T20 players the game has probably ever seen. The thing I’ve always said about Pollard is ‘it doesn’t matter how many you need, if he’s in at the end with three or four overs to go, you can still always win’. (In 2013) we had a game against the Sunrisers (SRH) and I think we needed about 80-odd off the last 5 overs or so (the equation was 79 from 6 overs). Pollard was in and he got most of them all by himself. It was just incredible power hitting at the end.”
However, Ponting also pointed out that apart from his ability to hit a long ball, Pollard is also a very intelligent cricketer as he knows how to pace his innings according to the need of the game. “He times his runs really well, he identifies the bowlers he knows he can score heavily off and when he goes about doing that he can be unbelievably dangerous. Whereas Rohit is a bit more calculated, a bit more classy, in the (AB) de Villiers mold. He scores all around the ground and makes batting look very, very simple.”
Pollard followed up his knock against Bangalore with a quick-fire 39 against Gujarat Lions on Sunday. And Pollard’s Mumbai Indians teammate Mitch McClenaghan praised his efforts against RCB in the post-match conference by saying, “Pollard played one of the best knocks I’ve seen on an incredibly difficult wicket. He showed the composure of a top-order batsman to assess the wicket and the situation, to work the ones and wait for the ball in his slot. It was one of the smartest and technically good chases I have seen on such a difficult wicket.”
India or West Indies? Who will win?
WI hold a 60-53 H2H advantage over IND historically but in last 10 completed games between them , IND have won 7. IND has also won all last 5 games at this venue.