Time to start winning, says Pollard


Time to start winning, says Pollard

Thursday, November 26, 2020

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AUCKLAND, New Zealand (CMC) — West Indies Twenty20 International Captain Kieron Pollard said his side should use their three-match series against New Zealand, starting on Friday (2:00 am – East Caribbean Time) at Eden Park, to improve their results in the format.

The Windies are the reigning World champions and the only international team to have won the title twice since its inception 13 years ago – but they are currently ranked ninth in the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20I Team Rankings.

The Caribbean side have won only 15 of their previous 47 T20Is, since clinching their second World title four years ago in India – but they have won their last three matches – including two in March this year on the Tour of Sri Lanka.

One of the chief reasons advanced for West Indies' low rankings has been the unavailability of its leading T20 players, including Pollard over the period. They have missed T20Is because of other domestic T20 playing commitments around the globe or injury.

But Pollard said his side must do better and the series against New Zealand was the perfect time to start.

“T20 cricket is a format in which I think we should be performing better and more consistently in terms of a team because we have the necessary guys to do the job,” he said in an interview with WESN TV in his native Trinidad.

“We just have to put the pieces of the puzzle together. The plans have been put in place, virtually (for this series). We have the information on the New Zealand opposition from our analyst.”

He added: “It's just a matter of us studying that information (from the analyst) and coming up with plans, and I am looking forward to these challenges (against the Blackcaps).

“Last time, we were here as a team, we did not do too well, but that's history.”

The Windies have won only once in eight matches in New Zealand – and that required a Super Over to achieve.

But their preparation for this series has been far from ideal with Pollard and five other members of the squad – his deputy Nicholas Pooran, fellow left-hander Shimron Hetmyer, all-rounder Keemo Paul, left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell and left-arm spinner Fabian Allen – holed up in a managed isolation facility under the country's COVID-19 protocols for the past two weeks.

The six players arrived from the Indian Premier League in the United Arab Emirates on November 12 and have had limited training.

They completed three mandatory tests for COVID-19 , which all returned negative, and they are scheduled to leave the quarantine facility today.

The six players will join up with the remaining members of the squad that have already been in New Zealand for the past month and arrived in the city for the first match of the series.

The second and third matches of the series will be contested this coming Sunday and Monday – both will take place at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui.

Squads: NEW ZEALAND (from): Tim Southee (captain), Hamish Bennett, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Seifert, Ross Taylor.

WEST INDIES (from): Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran (vice-captain), Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Andre Fletcher, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Rovman Powell, Keemo Paul, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams.

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