Lucknow: West Indies might have tasted their first defeat of the tour but the Caribbean side has been playing some aggressive, yet smart brand of cricket under the new leadership of Kieron Pollard. The visiting side whitewashed Afghanistan in the three-match ODI series and then won the first T20I before going down in the second encounter by 41 runs on Saturday (November 17).
West Indies have a good mix of youth and experience in their set-up. The likes of Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Jason Holder and Lendl Simmons have been playing cricket for quite a while now, while someone like Brandon King and Hayden Walsh got their first taste of international cricket just a few days back. Both Walsh and King did well in the opportunities they got during the ODI series but haven’t been able to make an impact in the first two T20Is.
King has only scored 16 runs in two encounters, while Walsh has managed to take two wickets at an economy of 8.6. Following their defeat, skipper Pollard said that the onus is on experienced players to make sure that young guys mature well and learn from these types of situations.
“That’s something we have spoken about, having both youth and experience. Lendl is sick since he has got here and that’s the reason why you haven’t seen him. Walsh has got his opportunity and he has done fairly well for himself. King started pretty well in that last ODI but hasn’t done much in the two T20 games. But with experience in the dressing room and we helping these guys, they are only going to get better. Our job as experienced players is to make sure they mature faster and teach different situations,” said Pollard at the post-match press conference in Lucknow.
“International cricket is tough and that’s the reason why we have a mix of youth and experience. We are lucky enough that we have guys in that dressing room who have played a lot of cricket. It’s about sharing the knowledge and keeping the guys upbeat. We as a team back them.”
Afghanistan got off to a rapid start in the second T20I but West Indies managed to pull things back on the back of Kesrick Williams, Holder and Keemo Paul. Pollard said that his team should have chased down the 148-run target, but will now go back to the drawing board and try to make a comeback on Sunday to win the T20I series.
“We were pretty confident that we could have gotten it. We fell short by 40-odd runs. So again, we go back and we re-evaluate, we assess and we come tomorrow and try to give a better showing.
“As a batting side, we need to improve. Had we been 2-0 up, the guys could have relaxed a bit. We were pretty confident that we could have gotten it. We fell short by 40-odd runs. So again, we go back and we re-evaluate, we assess and we come tomorrow and try to give a better showing.
“At the end of the day, Afghanistan played well. They are allowed to bowl well. They are allowed to do well. Today was their day. They batted well and put up 140-odd runs on the board. Their bowlers then bowled according to the plan. But come tomorrow, we have an opportunity to put out things that we did wrong and make it right.”
Pollard didn’t look much bothered and said all they need to do is what they have been doing so far on this tour.
“We have to just go out and play cricket. Whatever presents itself, we adjust to that. We try to tick the boxes that we want to tick. One loss since our tour started... We just need to continue what we have been doing and see if we can come out on top tomorrow.”
When asked about two-time champions West Indies’ preparations for next year’s T20 World Cup, Pollard said: “It’s still 9-10 months away. Sometimes in life, you don’t look way too far away and try to focus on the present. Tomorrow we have another game and our aim is to try to continue to win cricket games and play consistent cricket and do the things that we need to do.”