Pollard urges 'smarter' batting approach on 'difficult' surfaceWednesday, July 21, 2021
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — Kieron Pollard believes West Indies' batsmen need to make the necessary adjustments to the Kensington Oval pitch if they are to avoid the same pitfalls in Thursday's second One-Day International against Australia.
The home side became unstuck in pursuit of 257 in the opener here Tuesday night, crashing to 123 all out in the 27th over, to lose by 133 runs — their third largest margin of defeat to the Aussies in ODIs.
Pollard conceded the wicket had not been conducive for stroke-play and with no change in conditions anticipated, it was imperative batsmen adjusted their approach for the critical second game.
“It was a totally different surface to the one we got in St Lucia, where the ball was coming on to the bat,” Pollard told media Wednesday.
“I thought it was a bit difficult for both teams to bat the seam bowling because the ball wasn't coming on [and] some were stopping.
“The way the grass panned out on the wicket, some balls slid on, some stood up, so stroke-play was a bit difficult unless [the bowler] overpitched or was really, really short.
“So it wasn't one that was conducive for stroke-play. It was one where you needed to grind, and needed to bat long. At any point in time, there was a delivery that had your name on it but it was just a matter of you trying to negotiate it.”
He continued: “Obviously we've gotten our look at what is going to happen. We don't expect the other pitch to play any differently so we need to adjust our mindset and our stroke-play when it comes to that.
“So it wasn't an easy pitch to bat on and I think both teams acknowledged that fact.”
On Tuesday, only Pollard showed any enterprise with his 56 off 57 balls in a 68-run, seventh wicket stand with Alzarri Joseph (17) which rescued West Indies from the embarrassment of 27 for six in the eighth over.
They will hope for the return of prolific opener Shai Hope who missed the game with an ankle injury but Pollard said regardless of personnel, the Windies needed to hit back strongly, with the batsmen showing the ability to be “smarter” in their approach.
“At the end of the day, a team must never be centred around one individual and not because one doesn't play, means that we can't have a proper batting performance,” he stressed.
“In cricket and in sports, someone has to win and someone has to lose and I thought Australia were better than us on the night and on the day, and hopefully we can bounce back as a team, with that fight and that grit and determination.”
He continued: “We try to impress upon [the players] a different mindset. Obviously it's a longer format [so you have] more time to think.
“Also in terms of targets, we have different targets from a Twenty20 perspective as opposed to a 50-over perspective. Then there are other fine details like how we go about targeting bowlers in different scenarios.
“You can have the plans but it's about executing. One of our plans is definitely not to be six wickets down inside the first ten overs. We have to bat a bit longer and a bit smarter.”
WEST INDIES — Kieron Pollard (captain), Shai Hope (vice captain), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Hayden Walsh, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Anderson Philip, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd.
AUSTRALIA — Aaron Finch (captain), Ashton Agar, Wes Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Dan Christian, Josh Hazlewood, Moises Henriques, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Riley Meredith, Josh Philippe, Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Ashton Turner, Andrew Tye, Matthew Wade, Adam Zampa.
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