Kieron Pollard has stated that he would like to continue playing international cricket and one bad tournament will not compel him to do so. Pollard also suggested that there should be another tournament along with CPL to unearth new talents and expand the pool of players available for selection
T20 World Cup 2021 has been very disappointing for the West Indies. The defending champions were considered favourites this year but they have managed to win just one fixture from four matches and are fifth in the points table of Super 12 Group 2. West Indies captain Kieron Pollard was one of the senior batsmen in the team who struggled playing in UAE. Pollard managed to score 46 runs in four innings and that too under a strike rate of 87. Speaking on the team’s journey, Pollard has stated that they came to the World Cup to win but were unable to do so. He further added that he would like to continue playing international cricket as there’s a lot of mileage in his legs as an individual.
"Well, personally... I don't set personal goals for personal glory. I play cricket to win cricket matches each and every time. We came to the World Cup to win and we haven't done that. Unless you're part of decisions that are going to get rid of me or fire me or retire me, as I stand right now, I have no intentions of not playing international cricket. One tournament or a couple of bad games don't make a summer. And for me personally, there's a lot of mileage in my legs as an individual,” Pollard said in a post-match press conference.
"There are people in different scenarios who make decisions and when it comes to that [captaincy] question, I can't make that decision... but again we have a tendency as things go badly, the easiest thing is to blame or chop and change and do different things. But we accept that. I accept that and I take it on the chin and sometimes you have to absorb the pressure before you apply [it]. But personally as an individual I've played a lot of good cricket in the last 18 months or two years or so. So, three-four games [are] not going to deter Kieron Pollard."
West Indies lost their last fixture against Sri Lanka on Thursday by 20 runs. Sri Lanka batted first and managed a total of 189/3. Charith Asalanka played a knock of 68 runs from 41 balls while Pathum Nissanka scored 51 runs of 41 balls. West Indies ended up 20 runs short from the target and they lost the match. Reflecting on the fixture against Sri Lanka, West Indies' Kieron Pollard said that it was a good batting track and they should have restricted the opposition for 170-175. He also added that the West Indies batting hasn’t been good enough throughout the tournament.
"It was a good batting track.If we had sort of restricted them to 170-175, I thought that was about par on this track; [we] gave them a couple of extra runs, and then we weren't able to sort of finish off the innings. The batting has struggled throughout the entire tournament, and it has been disappointing. Obviously, we've been singing the same song over and over and it's something that hasn't helped us - the way that we've batted throughout the tournament. We just have to accept that we weren't good enough,” he remarked.
Chasing the target, West Indies promoted Nicholas Pooran in the batting order and sent him to bat at No.3, with him scoring 46 runs from 34 balls and starting the chase on a positive note for the team. West Indies lost their wickets continuously and Shimron Hetmyer was the lone warrior for the team who stayed at the crease till the end and fought for the team’s win. Hetmyer played a knock of unbeaten 81 runs from 54 balls. Reflecting on the batting of both Pooran and Hetmyer, Pollard said that the innings by Pooran is a positive sign for the team in the right direction. Also, he added that Hetmeyer should perform in a similar manner which he did versus Sri Lanka on a consistent basis.
"I think that [the progress of Pooran and Hetmyer] is very, very important. Nicholas getting the opportunity to bat up the order. Last game, he was full of confidence, and we just decided to sort of ride on that confidence and just try something different. I think he gave us a good start in the powerplay and after the powerplay. Obviously, he wasn't able to carry on, but that is a positive sign for us in the right direction,” he opined.
"And then Hetmyer - this is what we know Shimron can do. He comes in and manoeuvres the ball at the start. He's a powerful individual and if we can get these sort of performances from these guys consistently, I think it will augur well for us in the future. But it's not just the glimpse, the task is to do that on a consistent basis. The glimpse is good enough and it's something we definitely look at going forward,” he further added.
There are many senior players in the World Cup squad for West Indies and so they might look for replacements for some senior players in the future. CPL is the leading T20 league in the country and a lot of new talent showcase their skills in the competition. Pollard is of the opinion that there should be another T20 tournament along with CPL to unearth new talents in the country.
"I think it's something that we have to look at. I think it's something that has plagued us over a period of time for the last ten years or so, we've had sort of the same guys playing T20 and dominating as we go along,.One of the things we need to do is, especially in the Caribbean, we need to have another tournament other than CPL where we can unearth new talents. When we had the Caribbean T20, that was an opportunity to bring you talent from different parts of the Caribbean to be able to have the nucleus for this last generation or so... Since CPL has come in, yes it's a franchise-based system, but we've only had the opportunity to recycle the same players over and over again,” Pollard concluded.