Nicholas Pooran: ‘I want to talk the talk and walk the walk’
Nicholas Pooran, West Indies’ new white-ball captain, has said he will be an “instinctive” leader ahead of his first assignment in the role on a permanent basis, a three-match ODI series against Netherlands in Amsterdam starting on Tuesday.
Pooran, 26, has previously captained West Indies in two ODIs and eight T20Is and Guyana Amazon Warriors in the CPL, and was confirmed as Kieron Pollard’s successor earlier this month after serving as his deputy in recent years.
“I’ll try my best to lead from the front,” Pooran said at a virtual press conference on Friday. “I want to talk the talk and walk the walk.
“I’m very instinctive. On the field, I like to make decisions on how I feel. My team-mates know I’m very instinctive when I’m batting as well. As a captain, I want to approach it in the same way.
“[I want to] live in the present, try to be the best version of myself, try to be the best leader I can be. It’s as simple as that.”
West Indies have picked an inexperienced squad for this series and the upcoming tour of Pakistan, with Jason Holder (rested) the most high-profile absentee.
Pooran said that the tours would ensure younger players are given opportunities, but downplayed the idea that playing the Netherlands – who have only one of their county-contracted players available this week – represented an ideal introduction to the full-time role.
“I wouldn’t say there’s a right time,” he said. “We want to win games, it doesn’t matter who the opposition is. We’re not looking at it like that. The time is now and that’s all we need to focus on.
“Everyone deserves an opportunity at some point in their career and it’s really good that the younger players are getting an opportunity now. It’s a good opportunity for them to showcase their talent and try to grab a spot in the team.
“It has been good. I think a lot of guys are happy in terms of it being free here and Amsterdam is a beautiful place. We’re looking forward to the opportunity to play some cricket and feed off each other.”
Availability has been a constant concern for West Indies in the era of franchise leagues and the management of freelance players could be a defining trait of Pooran’s reign.
On the eve of the series opener, Pooran confirmed that fast bowler Alzarri Joseph, fresh off a title-winning IPL stint with Gujarat Titans, would be in “contention for selection” for Tuesday’s ODI.
“Yes, Alzarri arrives today,” Pooran said. “He would be in contention for selection for tomorrow’s game. Hopefully, he’s ready to play and we can have him on the park. Hopefully, he can bring in his IPL experience across as well for us.”
Pooran had earlier added that Sunil Narine‘s availability for the T20 World Cup later this year was a matter for him to discuss directly with the selectors.
“What Sunil wants, I’m in no control of that,” he said. “But that’s a conversation between him and the selectors – what his aspirations are when it comes to West Indies cricket.
“The end goal is to win cricket games and to win tournaments. But obviously there is a process behind that. It’s a new time for us. I believe that we have a lot of talented players with us here, but we need to really work hard and come up with the goods.” (ESPNcricinfo)