Pollard: “I’m not going to throw any of my teammates under the bus”
By Avenash Ramzan
Despite “not batting well” in their two games in the ICC Men’s World T20, West Indies captain Kieron Pollard is not intent on casting blame on any single player.
After being shot out for 55 against England and eventually losing by six wickets, West Indies suffered an eight-wicket defeat at the hands of South Africa on Tuesday after posting 143-8 in Dubai.
One of the talking points of the West Indies batting performance against the Proteas was a laborious innings of 16 off 35 deliveries from opener Lendl Simmons.
Although the right-hander featured in an opening stand of 73 with Evin Lewis, he was dismissed in the 14th over without hitting a boundary.
It was the slowest innings (strike rate 45.71) by a West Indian player who has faced 30 balls or more in a World T20 innings, and third slowest overall at the global event.
In the previous game, Simmons made three from seven balls.
Questioned at the post-match press conference about Simmons’ form, Pollard said: “As a team, as a unit we have not batted well. I’m not going to sit here and single out any individual. I’m not going to throw any of my teammates under the bus.”
“We came here as a West Indies team to do a job and when we win together, we win together and when we lose, we lose together.”
The skipper highlighted that over the coming days the team management will sit and decide the best fit for the side for the next game against Bangladesh on Friday from 06:00h in Sharjah.
“But as it stands right now, I thought that we didn’t bat well collectively,” Pollard indicated. “Hopefully we would come back with the right combination, the right mindset and put some more runs on the board.”
There have been widespread calls for Roston Chase to be included in the final XI, given his outstanding form in CPL this year. He made a chart-topping 446 runs and took 10 wickets.
The Bajan also made a fifty in the second warm-up game at the World T20.
Should Chase make the XI at the expense of Simmons for the next game, it could potentially mean Chris Gayle returning to his familiar role as opener after struggling for runs at number three.
Defending champions West Indies, hunting an unprecedented third World T20 title, are currently bottom of Group One without a point.
The heavy defeats mean their net run rate, which stands at -2.550, took a severe hit. After the Bangladesh contest, Pollard’s men will face Sri Lanka on November 4 and Australia two days later.