Wed | Apr 1, 2020

Windies can overtake Sri Lanka – Pollard

Published:Friday | February 21, 2020 | 12:06 AM
Windies’ captain Kieran Pollard (right) speaks to the media as coach Phil Simmons watches during the inauguration of the NDB series trophy in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Wednesday.
Windies’ captain Kieran Pollard (right) speaks to the media as coach Phil Simmons watches during the inauguration of the NDB series trophy in Colombo, Sri Lanka on Wednesday.

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (CMC):

With just one point separating the Windies and Sri Lanka in the ICC One-Day International (ODI) rankings, the skipper of the Caribbean side is heading into their three-match rubber here with expectations of overtaking the hosts in the standings.

Windies captain Keiron Pollard believes his team is good enough to win the series, the first match of which will be played at the Sinhalese Sports Club on Saturday.

The two teams are closely locked on points in the ODI rankings. Windies occupy ninth spot on 80 points while Sri Lanka are in eighth with 81 points.

And Windies will be looking to build on the good work started late last year in the subcontinent and carried on against Ireland at home last month, according to Pollard, who is entering his third series as skipper since taking over last November.

Work in progress

“The squad has done a significant amount of work between the World Cup and this point,” Pollard said. “I think we proved in the Ireland series that we are a level above and we are now eager to see what the team can do against a more evenly matched opponent, in relation to standings.

Hopefully, at the end of the day, the team that plays the best and most consistent cricket will come out on top.”

Head Coach Phil Simmons said that one area to be monitored closely is the bowling in the middle overs.

“As long as we have visibly improved, we will be happy at the end of the series,” Simmons said. “However, based on what we would’ve shown against India, I think an improved performance would see us coming out as winners. We have placed specific focus on improving our bowling, which I think we have been able to achieve and we are eager to test that theory against a strong Sri Lanka team.”

The first ball of the opening ODI is 12:30 a.m. local time (11:30 p.m. Friday Jamaica).

SQUAD:

Kieron Pollard (captain)

Shai Hope (vice captain)

Fabian Allen

Sunil Ambris

Darren Bravo

Roston Chase

Sheldon Cottrell

Jason Holder

Alzarri Joseph

Brandon King

Keemo Paul

Nicholas Pooran

Rovman Powell

Romario Shepherd

Hayden Walsh Jr.