West Indies captain Kieron Pollard spoke with the media ahead of West Indies’ opening T20 World Cup match against England tomorrow at 10am. Here’s a recap of his thoughts.
MOOD IN THE CAMP
Ahead of the game, Pollard said there was a get together as a team and as a family and he noted that the players were upbeat.
On the technical side of things, there were a few intense training sessions and there’s a sense that the team is up for the task.
Pollard admitted that the two warm-up matches, losses to Pakistan and Afghanistan, did not go as they would have wanted.
However he assured that the players have worked hard, especially on the issues of facing spin bowling and rotation of strike.
MEMORIES OF THE 2016 FINAL
Tomorrow’s game against England, without question, brings back memories of the 2016 T20 World Cup final when Carlos Brathwaite hit four sixes off Ben Stokes to secure the title.
However, Pollard said, while it is in the back of the players’ minds, he does not believe it would have a big impact.
Regardless, Pollard noted that what Brathwaite showed was amazing and highlighted a never-say-die attitude.
The skipper hopes that the current crop of players can go out and play good cricket to get to another final and create more good memories going forward.
ANDRE RUSSELL’S AVAILABILITY
Pollard also gave something of an update on Andre Russell who has been suffering with a hamstring injury he picked up during the Indian Premier League with Kolkata Knight Riders.
Pollard reminded that Russell did play in the warm-up against Afghanistan, taking a wicket and scoring 11 runs.
The skipper noted that the game was a trial run for the Jamaican who showed that there was still some rust.
Pollard said the team has a final practice session today and will have a final look at the all-rounder before making a call regarding the opening game.
He also did not give any information on tomorrow’s starting XI but said management is clear on what it wants to achieve.
FABIAN ALLEN’S INJURY/QUESTIONS AROUND SUNIL NARINE
Pollard was questioned about the absence of Fabian Allen through injury and Sunil Narine missing the cut.
On Allen, he said he is a big miss for the team as we was part of the plans.
However, the captain believes West Indies have gotten an able replacement in the likes of Akeal Hosein who has “done himself a great deal of good” with CPL and international cricket.
Pollard was also asked about possibly drafting in Sunil Narine but said, while it is a big miss for the team, given Narine’s ability and experience, they have to deal with what is in front of them.
GETTING OUT OF A TOUGH GROUP
The skipper was asked about getting out of a group that also consists of England, Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Pollard said he does not want to pre-empt anything.
The team just wants to get the tournament underway and wants to win every time it steps out on to the field.
He believes they need to plan every game and execute.
23 Oct – v England
26 Oct – v South Africa
29 Oct – v Bangladesh
4 Nov – v Sri Lanka
6 Nov – v Australia