Specialist players to bolster confident Windies ahead of Australia ODIs - Pollard

By July 19, 2021

West Indies white-ball captain Kieron Pollard sees more specialist players coming in as replacements for some of the all-rounders, who played in the just-concluded T20 series when the team takes on Australia in the first of three ODIs starting tomorrow at the Kensington Oval in Barbados.

The West Indies are coming off a high after winning the five-match T20 series 4-1 and are hoping to carry that momentum into the ODI series. Pollard, who missed the T20 series with a hamstring injury, expects several specialist players to come in for the longer format.

“I think for us one of the things we try to harp on is specialists and speciality positions. We have found ourselves in positions over the years where you have a lot of all-rounders, a lot of guys can bat, can bowl but you want a guy specializing in one aspect or the other with a couple of utility guys who can bring three facets of the game,” he said.

“So, in terms of our one-day set-up, if you look at the balance we have used for the last couple of years, and even in the last series, I can’t see that changing much.”

What he doesn’t expect to change is the confidence exuded by his team in their comprehensive series victory over an admittedly under-strength Australian side.

“I hope that 100 per cent of the body language that would have been shown throughout the T20 series, the guys will take it on board and we can continue that in the ODI’s,” he said.

“Obviously, it will be different personnel and personalities but having said that, fielding and movement in the field in an attitude and it’s how bad you want it and how much you enjoy it.

“So far, from a white ball perspective, we have been very good in terms of our body language and in terms of our intent in the field despite the different situations and scenarios that present themselves. So, hopefully, long may that continue and we are going to be impressing on the guys to go the extra mile.”

 

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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    The Caribbean team, who are the defending champions, was routed by England in the first match where they lost by six wickets after being bowled out for 55.  In the second encounter against South Africa, on Tuesday. after a promising start the team was dismissed for a subpar 143, which the Proteas easily chased down to win by 8 wickets.

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    “Well, we just have to do what it takes,” a dejected Pollard said following the team’s loss to South Africa.

    “We have to dig deeper as a team. We have to dig deeper as a batting unit,” he added.

    “We have to get wins on the board now. We’ve put ourselves in a position whereas from a run rate perspective that’s pretty low, and from a win percentage we haven’t won any games.

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    West Indies captain Kieron Pollard did not speculate on Quinton de Kock's refusal to take the knee, but suggested education is a major issue when it comes to the gesture.

    South Africa were without their talismanic wicketkeeper-batsman for Tuesday's T20 World Cup match, which they still won despite De Kock's absence.

    The Cricket South Africa (CSA) board on Monday decided that all players must take the knee before their remaining World Cup games, as a consistent and united stance against racism.

    De Kock has previously declined to make the gesture and opted not to play against the Windies at Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday following the demand from CSA.

    Proteas captain Temba Bavuma said South Africa players were "taken aback" by De Kock's decision, with the batsman unsure whether the former skipper will play any further part in the World Cup.

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    "So this is sort of news to us or to me. But you know, you guys know our thoughts on this matter. It's something that we feel strongly about as a team and as a people, as well, and we will continue to do it.

    "Each and everyone has their own opinions on it, but as I've always said, once you're educated, and you understand, we will understand you doing it, but I think education sort of is the key, and we don't want anyone doing it for us in solitude or to feel sorry for us.

    "I'm not aware of which individual you speak about, but I'm guessing afterwards someone will increase my knowledge capacity on what actually transpired."

    Pollard was then informed it was De Kock who had withdrawn his participation in the game and was asked if he believes conversations should be held with the South Africa star to educate him on the issue.

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    "If I sit here, I'm going to speculate as to what actually transpired in all honesty. Again, if it's an educational thing, I guess then there's persons are wrong to educate.

    "I don't think it's my job at this present time to educate. I think I have a lot more on my plate in terms of leading our team, and we're in a position where we need to win cricket games. I don't think that's my forte at the minute."

    Pollard hit three boundaries, including a six, in a knock of 26 from 20 deliveries against South Africa, as well as going for nine off the only over he bowled as holders the Windies slumped to a second defeat of the Super 12 after their capitulation against England.

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