Younger players must produce better numbers, urges PollardThursday, March 04, 2021
ST JOHN'S, Antigua (CMC) — White-ball Captain Kieron Pollard has urged soul-searching on the part of the region's young players, also stressing the need for them to lift their performances if they were to consistently challenge for spots in the international side.
West Indies selectors have reverted in recent times to several senior players in the twilight of their years, but Pollard contended this was because younger players had failed to grab the opportunities before them.
“[They need to] continue to work hard and churn out the numbers,” Pollard argued.
“Every time you get the opportunity to play cricket, churn out the numbers and stick your neck above the rest. Sometimes you might feel undone but when you go and look yourself in the mirror, the answers are actually going to be there.
“Have I done enough or have I done whatever it takes on a consistent basis to be on the international team or representing West Indies at this stage? If you are very, very honest with yourself, you will get the answers there and then,” Pollard added.
Young players like Brandon King, Keemo Paul, Sherfane Rutherford and Hayden Walsh Jr have featured for West Indies in the shortest format in recent series without establishing themselves.
For the series against Sri Lanka starting here Wednesday, selectors reverted to 41-year-old opener Chris Gayle and the 39-year-old fast bowler Fidel Edwards who has been out of international cricket for nearly a decade.
They have also persisted with 37-year-old all-rounder Dwayne Bravo who was recalled in January last year, with the 36-year-old Lendl Simmons also a part of the squad.
Defending the shift toward veteran players, Pollard said younger players had not been consistent enough in getting the attention of selectors.
“If you have to pick guys scoring between 150 and 200 runs all the time and there is no one sticking out their heads — I'm just talking in general — [it's difficult to select them],” he reasoned.
“If no one is scoring 500 runs, 600 runs to say 'pick me, I deserve to be selected', it boils down to [picking] the best person at the point in time.”
However, Pollard contended the selection of 21-year-old off-spinner Kevin Sinclair was evidence that consistency would be rewarded.
“Guys just need to continue doing that [being consistent] and the opportunities will present themselves,” he pointed out.
“Like young Kevin Sinclair has been economical in the few games he would have played in Super50 in the last couple years with the Emerging Team even this year as well… so he gets an opportunity now.
“So opportunities are there, opportunities are going to come and things are being seen so you just continue to do that and try to be as consistent as possible and do what is necessary and not be walking around saying and doing all these different things with a sense of entitlement when the numbers are there or thereabouts for each and every person,” Pollard ended.
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