'A BIG VOID'
Windies Captain Pollard speaks about the loss of HetmyerThursday, March 04, 2021
ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC) – West Indies white-ball Captain Kieron Pollard has described the exclusion of exciting left-hander Shimron Hetmyer from the Twenty20 (T20) squad as “a big void” but says the player is aware of what is required to get himself back into the selection mix.
The 24-year-old Hetmyer was one of four players, along with Roston Chase, Oshane Thomas and Sheldon Cottrell, not considered for selection for the T20 and One-Day International (ODI) series against Sri Lanka after failing fitness tests.
For Hetmyer, it was the second time he had failed to “reach the minimum fitness standard in time for selection consideration”, after a similar occurrence for the tour of Sri Lanka last year.
“[He has left] a big void. There's no secret about that,” Pollard said as West Indies prepared for the opening Twenty20 International starting Wednesday at Coolidge Cricket Ground here.
“But as has been stated over the last couple of days, and I'm sure it has been a hot topic, I think he knows exactly what he needs to do. He knows the reason and the honesty in the reason he's not here at this point in time.
“Sometimes we need to be honest and open and straightforward with each other from different points of views, rather than just trying to pamper certain situations.
“You're damned if you do, you're damned if you don't in certain aspects, but he has left a big, big void and we've obviously expressed our disappointment in that, and he knows exactly what he needs to do in order to be on these white ball teams.”
Ironically, Hetmyer was in excellent form for Guyana Jaguars in the just-concluded Regional Super50 Cup, plundering 300 runs at an average of 50, including a blistering hundred in the semi-final against Windward Islands Volcanoes.
Since his international debut four years ago, the Guyanese has become a fixture for West Indies in all three formats, with his explosive batting earning him a reputation as a feared stroke-maker.
His absence from the batting order has left the pressure on the veteran trio of Chris Gayle, Lendl Simmons and Andre Fletcher, along with the experienced Evin Lewis, and Pollard said their consistency would be key to getting West Indies' batting firing.
“From a T20 point of view, you would obviously want consistency from your top four batters because they get more opportunities to face most of the deliveries, and the other guys coming and just trying to see if they can finish off the innings or finish off the game,” Pollard explained.
“We're still trying to strike that balance with the guys and personnel that we want at the top of the order. So Simmons and Evin and Gayle and Fletcher are the top order batsmen in this squad here right now and hopefully we can see some sort of consistency in these three games and try to take it from there.
“In T20 cricket, it is more about impact players, and the impact you can have on a cricket game rather than have someone batting the entire 20 overs and scoring 50, 60 runs.”
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