No disgrace despite whitewash, says skipper Pollard
KOLKATA, India (CMC):
Kieron Pollard says there is no reason for West Indies to feel “disgraced” despite their 3-0 whitewash to India in the Twenty20 International series, and has also warned against burdening Nicholas Pooran with too much batting responsibility, despite his current form.
The Caribbean side went down by 17 runs on Sunday in the final T20I at Eden Gardens, marking the second whitewash in as many weeks after they also lost the preceding One-Day International phase, 3-0, in Ahmedabad.
However, captain Pollard said the T20 series was actually much closer than the results suggested, and several of the players had reason to be pleased with their performances.
“When you look at the games, it was definitely a close series but it just goes to show the fine lines in international cricket for winning and losing, and the margin for error when you’re playing, when you’re bowling and when you’re fielding,” Pollard contended.
“I thought it was a good series. I thought the guys sort of put up their hands and gave a good account of themselves. I don’t think we should be disgraced by what has taken place.
“Yes, we’ve lost 3-0 and the scoreline will suggest that and we accept that yes we’ve lost but again, we’re in a results-oriented business as well and it’s one where we’re looking for results and looking to see what the guys have to offer.
“There’s a fine line, we’re not happy with losing – let me put that on record. It’s not a matter we’re just going out there and if we lose we lose – it’s not that at all. We’re trying to win cricket games as well but it’s a work in progress.
“I’m very happy with some of the performances of the guys and we crack on. We have no international white-ball cricket over the next 3½ months, so we have some time to think about what’s there for the future.”
One of the standout players in the T20 series was stylish Nicholas Pooran who unfurled a half-century in all three innings to end with 184 runs at an average of 61 and lead the run charts on either side.
The 26-year-old left-hander was the only batsman to pass triple figures but Rovman Powell averaged 47 following a sensational half-century in the second game.
Off-spinning all-rounder Roston Chase emerged as unlikely leader of the attack, finishing with six wickets at 10 runs apiece and an economy rate of five, to be the best bowler in the series.
“I thought Nicholas was outstanding. Three fifties in three games was fantastic for him – that’s the consistency we ask for,” Pollard said.
“[Rovman] getting a score in the last game, Kyle [Mayers] getting us [off] to a couple [starts].
“Chase came into the team as a forced change in the first game – he wasn’t actually playing but Jason (Holder) got hit the day before – and he actually bowled well, so well done to them.
“I thought (Sheldon) Cottrell as well in the first couple games, he bowled pretty decently barring one over. So all in all after different points in time, guys would have put up their hands. It’s a work in progress.”
Pooran’s form was an extension of last month’s series against England in Bridgetown when he averaged 41 but Pollard said it was critical the player be allowed to continue to develop and not be saddled with too much pressure of scoring runs.
“I don’t want [to say that I want] him to take up the consistency and take the responsibility and make it sound like he has to do it [alone],” Pollard pointed out.
“At the end of the day, he’s a young player and talented in his own right and he’ll want to be consistent as an individual.
“Some of the things we’ve been asking for is that consistency and we’ve seen it [from him] in these three matches with three half-centuries and then you look back in the England series [where he scored] a couple of 20s and a 70-odd.
“So he’s getting there but you don’t actually want to put all the responsibility and all the pressure on Nicholas.
“He’s still learning his craft as well but he has what it takes to be a force to be reckoned with on the international scene not only as a batsman but as a leader as well.”