Kolkata: The IPL has acted as a melting pot of cricketing cultures over time, however the Caribbean flavour had been all pervasive. Be it Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Andre Russell or new age stars like Nicholas Pooran or Shimron Hetmyer, they’ve left a robust impression – a lot in order that the franchise house owners have seen sufficient enterprise sense to co-own franchises within the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) lately.
One in all them, who has typically flown considerably beneath the radar, is Kieron Pollard – ‘Polly’ to his teammates. The enormous 34-year-old, not many would maybe reckon, is among the 4 captains whose groups might be in rivalry for the T20 World Cup which instantly follows the IPL aside from Virat Kohli (India), Eoin Morgan (England) and Kane Williamson (New Zealand).
Pollard, 34, might be main a full-strength Caribbean facet which is trying to defend the title which they gained in a dramatic style 5 years again within the 2016 remaining in opposition to England on the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. No prizes for guessing, Pollard – an astute cricketing mind – might be making psychological notes on the behaviour of the wickets, attainable dew issue and different minute particulars for his or her marketing campaign.
It’s not a coincidence that the West Indies staff stands on a unique aircraft relating to T20 format, having gained the world T20 crown twice in 2012 and 2016 and looking out good for a 3rd one on the UAE soil in October-November. Darren Sammy, now retired, had been their captain on each events and will get the very best out of their maverick lot regardless of not being one in every of their greatest stars – a top quality which Pollard additionally appears to command ever since he was hoisted because the captain of their white ball groups since 2019.
The Trinidadian, now in his eleventh season with five-time champions Mumbai Paltan, had been merely invaluable to their template for fulfillment – although his combination of 3191 runs and 63 wickets from 171 matches typically fails to do justice to his contribution. The variety of occasions that he has gained important phases for Rohit Sharma’s males will not be humorous – be it giving their innings a late increase or serving to in chasing down unbelievable totals.
An ideal working example was their chase of an epic 219 arrange by Chennai Tremendous Kings throughout a league sport in Delhi in first half of IPL in India earlier this yr. Pollard masterminded the chase with a mindboggling show of calculated hitting to stay unbeaten on 87 off 34 balls – his highest rating within the IPL up to now.
“Most likely one of many T20 video games that I’ve ever been a part of. I’ve by no means seen a chase like that earlier than. Probably the greatest innings from Polly. Good to see from outdoors. Good pitch, smaller floor, we needed to remain optimistic as soon as we completed the 20 overs,” Rohit mentioned on the presentation.
Giving a peek into the artwork of his batting, Pollard mentioned: ‘‘You need to evolve, lot of apply goes into it. That has helped me. I can’t say I’m 360, I’m maximising extra angles within the area.” Pollard had mentioned.
Final yr within the UAE, Pollard smashed the ball at a strike charge of 191 and even captained the facet for 5 matches when Rohit was down with an hamstring harm – serving to them to a fifth crown.
It will likely be fascinating to comply with Pollard’s UAE sojourn over the subsequent two months!
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