Pollard disappointed in batting unit

Kieron Pollard
West Indies’ captain Kieron Pollard bowls during the Cricket Twenty20 World Cup match between Sri Lanka and West Indies in Abu Dhabi, UAE, Thursday, Nov. 4, 2021. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

Kieron Pollard, the West Indies captain, has made no secret that he was disappointed in the batting unit after Ireland survived a lower order wobble to beat West Indies by two wickets in the series decider at Sabina Park in Jamaica on Sunday.

It marked only the third time they defeated the Caribbean side in a One Day International (ODI) and their first series win over the West Indies. Ireland won 2-1.

West Indies won the opening ODI by 24 runs and lost the second by five wickets.

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 “[I am] disappointed the way we batted throughout the entire series. That is the main reason why we would have faltered,” Pollard said. “We weren’t able to put enough runs on the board. The one game where we were scored 269, we were able to get over the line, but 229 and 212 at this international level is totally unacceptable.”

Kieron Pollard, West Indies Captain

Adding that the West Indies had a batting problem overall, across all game formats, the captain said batsmen need to assess situations and conditions better and play appropriate shots when required.

“It’s not just the eleven guys that are here or the fifteen guys that are here; it’s around the Caribbean. And we continue to, sort of, reward a guy going to Super50 and score a couple of hundred runs and then, you know, he has to play, or he has to be able to get into the team. We keep trying to chop and change different individuals at different times, but I don’t think we’re actually addressing the real problem,” he said.

However, the skipper stressed that as team leader, he accepted responsibility for the outcome of the series.

“I can take that responsibility that we haven’t done well, and that is not something we can hide from. But, as I have said before, it is not just here. It is overall across all formats, if you be totally, totally honest,” Pollard said.

Last Saturday, as West Indies prepared themselves for the third and final ODI, vice-captain Shai Hope had defended the batsmen, saying they had to play on a pitch that was not conducive to stroke play.

“We all know that in the morning time is a lot of moisture in the pitch…. It’s not easy for batsmen to flow in those types of surfaces,” he said at the time. “I’m not saying that cricket has to be easy all the time, but it’s not a free-flowing wicket, especially in the morning at Sabina, so it’s just important for us as batters to adapt to that as fast as we can.”

Despite the series result, Pollard was pleased with the performances of Odean Smith, Romario Shepherd, and ODI debutant Shamarh Brooks.

He said he was very proud of Smith and Shepherd, who had to wait their turn to get opportunities to play with the West Indies and wanted to see more done to develop talented players like the duo.

“But they have come in, and they have shown, in the last series in Pakistan and even this series here, that they want to be at the international level,” he said. “Obviously, they are a bit rough on the edges – when I talk about rough, I’m talking about somebody like an Odean Smith – but you can see the raw talent and what we see around the world is that persons take those sorts of raw talents and good players and make them into great players. And that is something we need to do with some of the individuals that we have here. But are we willing to do that?”

Pollard said Shepherd was a diligent, honest, and hard worker who did whatever the team required, “and he shows that he wants it.”

Brooks, who hit 93 on his ODI debut in the first match, also praised the Windies skipper.

“Brooksy, coming into this series, getting a 90 and missing out on a hundred, a 40-odd, missing out today [Sunday] – again, well done to him, but we need to be hungry to grab the chances. He would have been one who had not gotten a chance, and he had the perfect opportunity here to cement his place. To the other guys, we need to work harder,” Pollard said. 



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