Pollard urges Windies batsmen not to surrender six-hitting strength

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2011
West Indies big-hitting batsman Kieron Pollard

GEORGETOWN, Guyana (CMC) – Kieron Pollard said West Indies would continue to work on reducing their dot ball count but stressed that power-hitting would always remain a key element of their arsenal in Twenty20 Internationals.

West Indies were once again guilty of failing to rotate strike as they suffered another humbling 3-0 whitewash at the hands of India, after losing the final T20I by seven wickets here Tuesday.

They recorded 56 dot balls in their total of 146 for six, slightly less than the 79 they registered in the opener in Florida last Saturday, when they struggled to 95 for nine off their 20 after again batting first.

“It’s a work in progress,” Pollard said.

“Obviously we can look at that area as one of the areas which we need to improve on, which I totally 100 per cent agree with but then when you look at the boundary count in terms of the other teams I think we’re way ahead.

“So sometimes you have to play (to) your strengths and continue doing what you’re strong doing and try to work on your weakness. It was a concerted effort today to try, when we got a boundary to work it around (afterwards) but as I said it’s a work in progress. 

“It’s not going to happen overnight but you don’t want to take away our natural instincts of hitting the boundaries and clearing the boundaries as well.”

Returning to the squad for the first time in nearly a year, Pollard made his presence felt in the series despite West Indies’ poor display, especially with the bat.

The 32-year-old struck a run-a-ball 49 in the first match to drag West Indies out of trouble at 33 for five in the sixth over and repeated the effort on Tuesday, striking a top score of 58 – his second T20I half-century but first in seven years – to again rebuild the innings from a difficult position of 14 for three in the fourth over.

One of the veteran players in the squad along with off-spinner Sunil Narine, Pollard said it was important he played vital roles for Windies going forward.

“The maturity level is there, so sometimes you have to come and show it on the field,” the Trinidadian told reporters.

“Coming on to a cricket field you try to give your best all the time. Sometimes it doesn’t work, sometimes you perform (sometimes you don’t) – that doesn’t mean you’re not mature, that doesn’t mean you’re not improving. Sometimes things don’t work out as you planned.

“For me personally, it’s just about coming out to get through a game, try to finish a game and hopefully, let the experts who play a lot of cricket in the stands continue to judge.”

Pollard was handed a promotion to number four in the series and revelled in the new-found responsibility. Of note was his knock in the first game where he grafted almost throughout, to shepherd the Windies innings.

Reflecting on the innings, Pollard said it was critical he adjusted his game to suit the requirements of the team.

“Sometimes when your back is against the wall and you have no choice, you’ve got to go forward but that’s what the team required at that point in time,” he explained.

“I’ve played all my life and all my cricket, playing for what the teams wants and if my role is to come and do that, I come and try my best to do it. If it’s to come and hit sixes first ball, I’ll do that.

“So nothing is going to change – when I step on that cricket field, I’ll give a hundred per cent no matter where in the world I play.”