Pollard had set the challenge ahead of the batters to bat out all 50 overs. West Indies couldn’t quite pull that off but their limited-overs captain believes the experience of taking on a “well-drilled Indian side” helped them in “understanding what’s needed on a consistent basis in international cricket.”
On the eve of the T20I series, Pollard laid out another challenge for his team. This time, he’s demanding consistency and better execution. “For us, it’s about consistency,” he started. “We had a good series against England. We faltered a couple of times. In the backend of the innings, we could be a little better at executing and as a fielding unit we can take it up a notch as well. Just try and be as consistent as possible.
“On the batting front, over a period of time, we haven’t been consistent at all. We want to be able to put that right in the shorter format. It’s about us executing with the best of our abilities. We are pretty confident. Where we came from – against England – it shows the guys have the desire to do well. To be able to come out on top should also give the guys confidence coming into this series. The guys are looking forward to the challenge of scoring runs on these pitches where it’s conducive for strokeplay especially from a T20 perspective.”
Pollard stressed that despite the setback in the ODI series:
His team is still capable of challenging the Indian side. “The momentum is with them but that’s done and dusted,” he pointed out. “You can’t live four days back, you have to look into the present. We have to focus on what we need to do. So for that, we have to come out with some plans and hopefully, we could execute those plans. Hopefully, we can put them on the backfoot when they are batting or put them under some pressure when they are bowling.”
One of the biggest positives for West Indies – in the series against England – was the firepower shown by the likes of Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Kyle Mayers and Romario Shepherd. Pollard acknowledged he’s particularly pleased with the growth shown by these players and was happy that rewards have come their way in form of IPL contracts.
“(Mayers is) Naturally aggressive by nature. He’s grown tremendously. He’s done well in the Test arena and now he’s done well in T20 format as well. He’s clear as to what he has to do for the team. He can give us some overs with the ball as well. That’s something we can count as well,” he said.
“The momentum is with them but that’s done and dusted. You can’t live four days back, you have to look into the present. We have to focus on what we need to do. So for that, we have to come out with some plans and hopefully, we could execute those plans,” Pollard said.
With as many as 17 West Indies players set to feature in the IPL 2022, Pollard hoped his teammates could gain valuable experience and use it to carry West Indies forward.
“These are the guys – Smith, Shepherd, Drakes, Pooran, Hetmyer, Rovman Powell – are the ones you look towards to take West Indies cricket forward. Over the weekend, it brought joy to my heart that some of the guys were picked in the IPL auction. Hopefully, they can use that experience and use that two and half months to enhance their cricket. These are exciting time for us going forward.”