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‘Complete’ cricket

Pollard discusses Windies strategy as T20 World Cup opener against England nears

Published:Monday | October 18, 2021 | 12:10 AMLennox Aldred/Gleaner Writer
POLLARD
POLLARD

As the West Indies get their first taste of action in a warm-up match against Pakistan in Dubai today, captain Kieron Pollard says the regional side will not be shying away from their aggressive style of cricket at the ICC T20 World Cup in the...

As the West Indies get their first taste of action in a warm-up match against Pakistan in Dubai today, captain Kieron Pollard says the regional side will not be shying away from their aggressive style of cricket at the ICC T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

Pundits have criticised the Windies for possessing only power hitters and not enough batsmen who can manufacture an innings when needed. However, Pollard told reporters in Dubai that while the team will be tweaking its approach to play more ‘complete’ cricket, as he describes it, the side will continue to do the things that have brought them success in the past.

“You’ve seen it all around the world, that is how we go about our cricket,” Pollard said. “A lot of people, analysts at different times, harp on dot balls, singles, ones, and twos. Everything is important, but we still have to play to our strengths. I’m not going to say what that is, because then the heading will be ‘West Indies just want to hit sixes’.”

One of the players that the West Indies will rely on to play that role of batting through the innings is Barbadian Roston Chase, who booked his ticket to the World Cup with a tournament-leading 446 runs in this year’s Caribbean Premier League (CPL).

The right fit

Pollard is hoping that Chase can put in a similar performance to that of MVP Marlon Samuels in the 2012 and 2016 finals.

“The type of cricket he plays fits right into our balance, right in the middle of our power hitters,” Pollard said. “We need a guy who can manoeuvre the ball, hit the occasional boundaries, and keep the run rate going. That’s an area we keep constantly working on, and we thought he was the right fit at this time. I look forward to seeing what he has to offer. He hasn’t played much white-ball cricket, and teams may not have that much data. Or maybe they do, there’s an archive full of runs and wickets. We look forward to reaping the rewards of his form from the CPL.”

If there is an advantage that the regional side may have heading into the tournament, is that several players are coming straight from the Indian Premier League, with others also performing in last month’s CPL.

With this knowledge, it’s all about execution for the big right-hander, who has his sights on lifting their third World T20 trophy for the West Indies.

“For us, most of our guys got a chance to play recently here (Dubai). So for us, it’s about trying to hit the ground running, start on a positive note, get those first two points and see what happens after that.”

The Windies face 2016 finalists England in Dubai on Saturday.

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