'Windies have worked hard to improve strike rotation' - Pollard hopes to see better movement between crease for World Cup

By Sports Desk October 22, 2021

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard is confident the team has done enough work to address concerns surrounding an inability to rotate the strike ahead of the start of the T20 World Cup.

The Caribbean side will open the tournament on Saturday against England but despite being defending champions will have several questions to answer.  One of those recurring issues has been the ratio of the team’s use of traditional hitting versus rotating the strike with singles.

In the past, the Windies have had success with their power-hitting game, winning the tournament twice in just such a fashion.  In recent years, however, the team has shown a propensity to get bogged down looking for boundaries.  Pollard, however, insists that the team has been looking to address the issue, but were at the same time not looking to get away from their style of play.

“A lot of work has been done behind the scenes.  The guys have worked tirelessly to get to where we are right now in terms of trying to cover our bases,” Pollard told members of the media on Friday.

“I’ve said before that we try to keep our strengths and work on our weaknesses.  We’ve accepted certain things and gone back behind the scenes and hopefully, we will see a difference,” he added.

“In terms of the two games that we played, guys didn’t show that intent and different things might have come out but we are confident that the guys have done what is needed and will look to hit the ground running come the first game.”

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    The Shaheens concluded their run in the competition with a three-wicket triumph over Ireland in Florida on Sunday, but failed to progress to the Super 8 stage at the expense of the United States. 

    Shaheen Afridi starred for Pakistan by taking three wickets, with Azam leading from the front with the bat as he hit an unbeaten 32 to help secure the victory. 

    "Yes we finished well, we took early wickets with the ball," Azam said after the game. "With the bat we didn't finish well. Lost back to back wickets, got over the line in the end.

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    Pakistan's exit from the World Cup was the earliest they had been knocked out of the competition, having lost their opening two games to the USA and India. 

    Azam's future as the captain has been called into question, and could hand the armband over to Afridi, who was named as the new captain following Pakistan's league stage exit of the ODI World Cup in India last year.

    The 29-year-old explained that conversations will be had to discuss his future as Pakistan captain, but admitted the decision is down to the PCB. 

    "When I left captaincy (previously), I felt that I shouldn't be captain any more and announced it myself. When PCB gave it back, that was their decision," Azam said. 

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    Both sides were already out of the competition before the match, but Pakistan clearly wanted to go out on a high as they came out of the blocks quickly.

    Ireland got off to a nightmare start, slumping to 4-3 in just the second over. Shaheen Afridi (3-22) and Imad Wasim (3-8) impressed as Pakistan smothered their opponents, though Gareth Delany managed to gain some momentum with 31 off 19 balls.

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