‘Do better, or you’re done!’ - Windies T20 captain Pollard issues ultimatum to players on attitude in games
Captain Kieron Pollard has issued a warning to teammates that they may be cut from the West Indies Twenty20 (T20) International team if their attitude to games does not change.
Pollard’s comments follow a 2-0 series defeat to hosts New Zealand after the third and final game in the series was abandoned on Monday morning because of rain.
The series provided valuable practice for the Windies, especially needed in a year where the COVID-19 pandemic caused a lengthy period of inactivity in the sport, ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in India next year.
But Pollard says the team’s performance shows that there is still much to do, especially regarding fielding, ahead of the tournament, where the Windies will be defending their title.
“Fielding is an attitude. That’s the only time it’s 11 versus two on the park,” Pollard said. “And if you don’t show the intent to want to do it, it’s going to be difficult.
“So, as individuals, we have to look in the mirror. We don’t want to feel like laughingstocks in the dressing room. We have an opportunity now to think about it and come back. Next year is very crucial with the World Cup coming up. So if players don’t show that attitude, they may get the boot.”
Only two overs and two deliveries were possible in the match before the rainfall, with the West Indies asked to take the first strike, reaching 25 for one.
Jamaican batsman Brandon King was the only wicket to fall as he was caught off the bowling of Lockie Ferguson for 11.
The washed-out game just about summed up a sloppy three-match series for the regional side, which went down by five wickets in the opening match and then by 72 runs in game two.
It was a similar 2-0 series loss for the West Indies during the 2017-2018 three-match series, and for Pollard, the defeat this time around is even more disappointing as he believed the team did compete.
“Obviously, we are disappointed,” he said. “As a unit, we didn’t expect to be outplayed this badly. The onus was on us to compete and win the series, but hopefully, the guys in the Test series can get something out of the series.”
Pollard, who recently returned from the Indian Premier League, led the batting with 108 runs in two innings, with the next best batting display coming from opener Andre Fletcher, who scored 58 runs in three innings.
Jamaican Oshane Thomas showed few glimpses of his true potential, bagging three wickets in the two innings he bowled.
But for Pollard, a lack of training time as a unit cost the team dearly as there was very little execution, especially from the bowlers.
“The conditions are totally different to where we come from, and we didn’t have enough time to practise and get middle-wicket practice like that, which is why it’s been hard to win in New Zealand.”