Former Australian spinner Brad Hogg, who had multiple stints in the IPL, has revealed that he was once left ‘scared’ by the power of a Kieron Pollard shot that almost ended up striking him. Hogg, who famously represented KKR at 46 years of age, feels that Pollard is the ultimate team man.
Chris Gayle, Shane Watson and MS Dhoni are few batsmen with who ‘brute power’ is generally associated with, but arguably more powerful than them is Kieron Pollard, who has literally smashed many a bowler to smithereens. Pollard first displayed his power in a 2009 CLT20 game versus New South Wales, which subsequently led to Mumbai Indians signing him, and over the course of the past decade, the Trinidadian has, in both IPL and international cricket, showcased his inhuman ability to strike the ball with rage.
Victims of Pollard’s onslaughts with the bat are plenty, and one among them is Brad Hogg. The Australian, who made his IPL debut at the age of 41 for Rajasthan Royals, was treated to a ‘Pollard special’ on debut and recollecting the match, the left-arm wrist-spinner revealed how he was left scarred by the sheer power of the Trinidadian.
“It was game 12 in the IPL 2012 and we were playing the Mumbai Indians in the Wankhede Stadium. Rayudu and Pollard had been building a partnership and I had been brought into the attack. I was concerned about Pollard’s big muscles but with courage I pitched the ball up and bowled a wrong-un and Kieron Pollard absolutely loved it,” Hogg narrated on his YouTube channel.
“He smashed the ball straight down the wicket and instead of coming to me, it went to his mate Rayudu who was backing up. But I was scared by the power of his shot. I could have got the wicket of Pollard but I was scared.”
The impact created by Pollard in his debut season with Mumbai - particularly in the final, where he struck a 10-ball 27 and almost delivered the team the title - was such that they have, to date, shown enormous faith in the all-rounder, retaining him for over a decade despite a few lean seasons. According to Hogg, who is now a renowned analyst, the West Indian being the ultimate team man is what has prompted the four-time IPL champions to stick with him through thick and thin.
“Why have Mumbai Indians invested so heavily in Kieron Pollard? Firstly, because he is a team man. He puts the team first; he has great team values and puts his body on the line. That diving catches to left and to the right, for a big man he is very athletic and he saves a lot of runs.
“The crowd gets involved whenever he is in action. And that is one of the major plus points for the franchise because it is not just about the cricket out there you need the entertainers to stand up and he is one of them.”
Pollard, earlier this month, led Trinbago Knight Riders to an emphatic CPL victory and will enter the IPL 2020 season-high on confidence.