West Indies batter Nicholas Pooran said he let himself down during the Indian Premier League 2021 but is not concerned about his form ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021, which is scheduled to begin on October 17 in the UAE and Oman. Playing for Punjab Kings, the left-hander only managed 85 runs in 12 games at a horrible average of 7.72. However, Pooran did well in the last edition of the Caribbean Premier League, scoring 263 runs at a strike rate of 163.35.
"The IPL is gone. It's done for me. I just have to refocus and go again. I know personally that I've let myself down in terms of not sticking with my process long enough. I felt like I rushed the results a lot and I paid the price. You could see that in my scores. It's just for me to refocus now, hit the nets, work hard and plan again - simple as that," he said, speaking from West Indies' training base in Dubai.
"I'm not concerned at all. My cricket is based on confidence and my intent. I left the first half of the season scoring what, 20 runs in five, six, seven games (28 runs in six innings). I came and did decent in the last three series for West Indies and in CPL. It's about my process, continuing to believe in my process, having faith in my process, and my confidence is very high. I have no doubts in my mind that I can execute my gameplan and do good for the team.
"It's just games. A lot of sportsmen and a lot of cricketers have bad times but that's fine. All cricketers do have that patch and come out of it. I wouldn't say it's a patch for me. I came to the second half of the IPL batting really good for the West Indies and Guyana in CPL. To me, it's not the form. When you think about it, I haven't really faced many balls in all honesty. It's just for me to give myself a chance."
The West Indies vice-captain said his team will stick to the six-hitting approach at the World Cup, but the players are also looking to improve their strike rotation. They smoked quite a few maximums during their T20I series against South Africa, Australia and Pakistan but failed to play smart cricket, which cost them a couple of games.
"For the last couple of months, in the three series in the Caribbean, everything was about 'singles, singles, singles'. We spoke about it and chatted about it. We have players that play certain roles but as a batting group we want to get better, we want to improve.
"Yes, singles are a part of the game, but our focus is not too much on singles. We won two World Cups with the same problem, to be honest: not getting singles, but yet still we won two World Cups. I don't think the emphasis is on getting singles. It's more about intent - intent and playing smart cricket, that's it.
"There are times that we know we'll have to put egos aside and grind deep for the team. If that's batting a dot ball or trying to get a single, we'll do that. We have net sessions and match scenarios when we try to play to our strengths but also play to the conditions, which is finding how to get a single or working out how to get a single. We are working. We're not the best at getting singles but it's a work in process and we believe in our process and our team."
The Men in Maroon won the last T20I World Cup in 2016, thanks to Carlos Brathwaite's four successive sixes off Ben Stokes in the last over, and Pooran is proud to be appointed as vice-captain for the forthcoming showpiece event.
"It's a big achievement for me. I remember in the last World Cup, I did not recover from my injury (car accident). I was always thinking about T20 World Cup - I wanted to be part of a T20 World Cup. Processing it now, it's a big achievement for me, being vice-captain. It was never one of my goals to be a West Indies captain or vice-captain but it's my job, and I'm happy I can contribute in any way, supporting Polly (Kieron Pollard) and the coach. It's a proud moment for me and my family."
West Indies will start their campaign against England in Dubai on October 23. Apart from England and two other qualifying nations, West Indies also have South Africa and Australia in Group 1.