Pollard stresses the importance of continuity in selection

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By Akeem Greene

West Indies limited-overs captain Kieron Pollard has stressed the importance of not “chop and changing” players after a few matches if they fail, but give them ample time to assess their readiness for the position.

According to Pollard, such a style in the past has led to the inconsistent performances on the field and he wants to create an environment of continuity.

“In all honesty that is one of the problems that plagued us over the year- the constant chopping and changing- when things don’t go right one or two games,” the skipper expressed at a Virtual presser on Thursday.

“We don’t expect miracles from people and sometimes you have to give them chances and opportunities to fulfill what you are trying to achieve and after a period of time then you can make a judgment call.”

He added, “So after one game, I don’t think we are even thinking about many changes or anything like that. We need to get away from the fact if a guy does not perform after one game or two games that he is not just good enough we just discard him because he is not good enough.”

The 33-year-old said persons should see cricket just as life where persons make mistakes and seek to make amends at the next opportunity.

“We look for results each and every time and we don’t think about the process. The process sometimes is longer and sometimes you take your chances and see where it takes you, it is either it works or does not work, but to think about even changing things, no chance.”

Chris Gayle at number three in T20Is is an experiment by West Indies (Photo by Ashley Allen/Getty Images)

Gayle at three

In 54 innings, Chris Gayle had never batted at three for West Indies in a Twenty20 International until Wednesday evening against Sri Lanka in Antigua. It was an unsuccessful outing in the new position, being dismissed first ball, but Pollard expressed it something they are exploring.

Gayle had previously spent all of his international T20 career opening the batting for West Indies with good success.

However, in the last edition of the Indian Premier League, his franchise, Kings Punjab XI, opted to bat him at three.

According to Pollard, in the absence of regular number three, Shimron Hetmyer, they decided to experiment, given Gayle’s wealth of experience.

“Sometimes you don’t want to be too predictable at times and if you have guy who can change his game and manoeuvre different scenarios and also clear the boundary at will, thinking down the road, it can be an option.”

The captain further stated, “Yes Hetmyer is not there and he (Gayle) is filling in, but having a guy like Christopher Gayle, most T20 runs in the world, I don’t think that is bad for our team. We are not going to sit here and look at one performance, we are going to give the guys confidence each and every time and I am sure if he comes out and scores runs in the next two games it will be a masterstroke.”

Wednesday’s match at the Coolidge Cricket ground, the first T20I at the venue, was described by some as a most bizarre in the format.

Akila Dananjaya took a hat-trick and then was struck for six sixes in one over by Pollard, while Wanindu Hasaranga was also on a hat-trick in West Indies pursuit of 132 in 20 overs.

The second T20I is scheduled for Friday from 18:00h at Coolidge.

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