Thumbs up for Captain Pollard, Coach Simmons

Letters to the Editor

Thumbs up for Captain Pollard, Coach Simmons

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

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Dear Editor,

On Sunday, the Kieron Pollard-led West Indies defeated Ireland in the third and final One Day International (ODI). The victory saw them whitewashing the Irish and takes them level on ratings point with the eighth-ranked team, Sri Lanka.

This series victory over the Irish follows on the heels of the 2-1 loss to the number two-ranked Indians on their home soil. That was a very competitive series that saw the Indians pulling out all the stops in the decider to come out on top. The series loss to India was preceded by the series victory against Afghanistan, West Indies whitewashing the Afghans 3-0.

Kieron Pollard and Coach Phil Simmons have been at the helm of the West Indies since the latter part of 2019, the team's performance in these last three series, though not totally up to par, has shown worthy improvement and growth in the talent pool. The leadership of the team should be given credit, not because of the white-washing of the Afghans and Irish, or challenging the Indians on their home turf, but for having clear plans and roles for team members, allowing them to execute their game with a clear mind.

The inclusion of the leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Junior is also commendable and shows vision and foresight. Whilst he has not set the international seen on fire, he has shown enough that he could develop into that wicket-taking spinner the team lacks.

Of concern, though, is the batting of the captain. His leadership thus far has been good, and field placements, bowling changes and his overall tactics as a captain has been commendable; however, as a batsman, more is expected. He has chosen to play the role of a senior lower-order batsman, meaning he needs to up the tempo if needed or settle in and build an innings where required. Playing this role, though, means he needs to get the team over the line. It's a challenge, but it's one he needs to face head on and come up trumps.

In the recent past, West Indies has had captains whose permanent place on the team was questionable at best, mere passengers, Pollard needs to be careful he doesn't find himself ending up in this category.

Kemar Bogle

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