West Indies skipper Kieron Pollard has thrown his weight behind the out-of-form youngsters Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran and stated that this is a chance to back them. He also added that the team is well aware of the abilities of these two and putting them on the bench won't help.
West Indies' poor middle-order batting tuned out to be their biggest nemesis in the five-match T20I series against South Africa, which they lost 2-3, at home. Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran in particular, have been pretty disappointing given a lot is expected from them, owing to their incredible ball-hitting skills. Hetmyer and Pooran combined scored 128 runs in seven innings between them, which wasn't up to the mark and put extreme pressure on the skipper Kieron Pollard.
However, Kieron Pollard, ahead of the T20I series against Australia, has backed both Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran. He stated that Hetmyer is a talented batsman and can give good returns if he's backed given he's willing to put in the hard yards.
"When Hetmyer wasn't playing people were asking for his inclusion, now he's playing, he comes in and is trying to fulfil a role. He's a guy who is really, really talented, we have a lot of time for him. Let him play and see if we can reap the rewards of his talent. We are willing to work with him and he's willing to work. We just want him to succeed," Pollard told reporters.
He also reflected on Pooran's poor run and said that players do go through such a lean patch but he's also someone very talented.
"Nicholas Pooran, again, a young individual finding his craft, we know he's talented, and in any sportsman's career you will go through a period like this. It is an opportunity for us to be there for these youngsters and give them this sort of hug and protect them then let them come out of it.
He further added that the team will stick with the struggling duo in the middle-order because they are well aware of their abilities.
"As a team we are willing to work with these youngsters because we know in the future what they can do. Sometimes the easiest suggestion is to put them on the sidelines but is that going to help? Has it worked before? We are going to stick with these guys because we know deep down inside that these guys are talented and have what it takes to take West Indies cricket forward."
West Indies batters have been guilty of playing a lot of dot balls, especially in the middle-overs against spinners, something witnessed against South Africa recently. Pollard asserted that they are trying to get better at it and wants his men to put the conversations around these things into practice as well.
"Yes, we've had a high percentage of dot balls throughout the series and the one prior to that," Pollard said. "It has been spoken about time and time again, I can assure you that we try not to leave any stone unturned. We have a wealth of experience and wealth of coaches who take time to go into details of where we need to improve as a team.
"There's a lot of conversations taking place but we still need to put it into practice. Some things might take longer, but that's the nature of life. It's like going into school, some persons need extra lessons to get it right. It can become a concern but is it a concern when you look around at the other teams and we hit more boundaries than them at different times. That's our strength, so it's two-fold."