Pollard, the beating heart of Mumbai Indians

back icon
safarisafari
16 Nov 2022 | 07:08 AM
authorBastab K Parida

Pollard, the beating heart of Mumbai Indians

Pollard was an indemnity to the psyche of Mumbai Indians - an ever-lasting presence in situations that sometimes seemed paradoxical

“If I'm no longer playing for MI then I cannot see myself playing against MI either” - If one ever needed to know why teams like Mumbai Indians are so successful in the IPL, this one line would answer all of it in affirmative. It is a franchise that screams loyalty and like Harvey Specter would say, “If you are expecting loyalty from me, better goddamn earn it.” Kieron Pollard earned it more than any other player in the Mumbai Indians set-up, becoming a shining example of everything excellent about the five-time IPL champions. 

From being their longest-serving player to becoming the core of multiple transformations and in the process, seeing them through five IPL and two Champions League titles, the Caribbean giant forged a separate chapter of his own in the IPL-verse, before hanging his boots on Tuesday, truly marking, as cliched as it may sound, the end of an era.

Just imagine this. Rohit Sharma led Mumbai with absolute clarity. Jasprit Bumrah has been a savior for nine years. Lasith Malinga’s contribution to the franchise in clutch moments has taken a page of its own. But Pollard was an indemnity to the psyche of Mumbai Indians - an ever-lasting presence in situations that sometimes seemed paradoxical. MS Dhoni, AB de Villiers, Andre Russell, and Kieron Pollard - the list wouldn’t accommodate any other player.

It was the base on which Pollard made a legendary IPL career. Only one of the two players to have scored more than 3000 runs and taken 50-plus wickets. Pollard is the second highest run-scorer in death overs after MS Dhoni, with more than 3000 runs and that too at a strike rate over 170. It was not a surprise why Mumbai never wanted to let go of him even when the chips were drastically down. For the Paltan, Pollard was family - and the feeling was mutual.

"Most sincerely, I express my deep appreciation to Mukesh, Nita and Akash Ambani for their tremendous love, support and respect I have always felt and for the confidence they placed in me. I recall our first encounter when they welcomed me with open arms saying. 'We are family'. Those were not just mere words, but demonstrated by their every action throughout my time with Mumbai Indians,” Pollard wrote in his retirement statement.

With Pollard, Mumbai were assured of one thing that many teams have lacked over the years. Like peak MS Dhoni, the presence of Pollard allowed every single player at the top order to play with a sense of freedom. The success of the likes of Quinton de Kock, Suryakumar Yadav, and Ishan Kishan are as much down to do with their own self as it is because of Pollard’s presence. The predicament of which was felt through the spines of their batting in the year he had a massive fall from grace - an average of 14.40 and strike rate of 107.46 in 2022 - and the franchise ended with the wooden spoon.

Further, boxing Pollard’s achievements into a montage of moments would be a disservice to his profound impact. Remember the 2013 final? When the entire top order succumbed under pressure, Pollard stood up and almost single-handedly guided them to a par total of 148 runs. A microcosm of things that had made Mumbai such an enforcer in the league and Pollard had been a regular cast in such situations. 

Thus, it was not a surprise to see him take over the role of batting coach for the franchise. A shake up in the management structure after the induction of MI Emirates in the UAE ILT20 and MI Cape Town in SA20 means increased focus on the centralisation, and Pollard would be a handful, being very much acquainted with the culture of Mumbai Indians. The trust factor that both parties have for each other means Pollard will be a calming presence in the Mumbai dressing room who are going through a transition of their own. 

Soon enough, Rohit Sharma, who has been the face of the franchise for a decade, will make way for a younger leader. Someday, Suryakumar Yadav will lose his form too. But it is the culture that talks. And Pollard’s contribution in that direction will forever be remembered as the beating heart of Mumbai Indians folklore.

heart
shareGray Share
Tags
Indian Premier League, 2022Mumbai IndiansKieron PollardRohit SharmaSuryakumar YadavIshan KishanJasprit Bumrah

Related Articles

safari
NEWS
Kieron Pollard calls time on his IPL career
The former West Indies captain won five IPL and two Champions League T20 titles during his 13 seasons with Mumbai Indians
userPramod Ananth
15 Nov 2022
safari
NEWS
Everyone has their own opinions: Pollard on De Kock's refusal to take a knee
West Indies captain Kieron Pollard said he doesn't want to speculate on Quinton de Kock's withdrawal from the match
usercricket.com staff
26 Oct 2021
safari
NEWS
We back Gayle to do well in the World Cup: Pollard
Ahead of the World T20, West Indies' skipper Kieron Pollard backed Chris Gayle to do well
userPTI
16 Oct 2021
safari
REPORT
Hardik-Pollard combine to end Mumbai’s three-match losing streak
Three games, three losses, Mumbai were in deep trouble but against Punjab, they crossed over the line with ease
usercricket.com staff
28 Sep 2021
safari
NEWS
'It was a total team effort,' says pollard after his match-winning knock against CSK
After picking up two important knocks, the MI all-rounder lit up the stadium with an unbeaten 34-ball 87
usercricket.com staff
02 May 2021
safari
REPORT
Pollard's might lift Mumbai to record run chase
Mumbai Indians pulled off the second highest run chase in IPL history
userShubh Aggarwal
01 May 2021
safari
OPINION
Second-highest run chase, fastest fifty for Pollard, and more
Here are a few noteworthy stats from Match 27 of IPL 2021 between Mumbai and Chennai
userHardik Worah
01 May 2021
safari
OPINION
Taming Pollard - How teams have kept MI power-hitter in check so far
In the first two games, bowlers have laid out a template to rest Pollard's carnage in the death overs
userSomesh Agarwal
16 Apr 2021
safari
FANTASY
Mumbai Indians vs Royal Challengers Bangalore, IPL 2021, Match 1: Fantasy Preview
Here are a few tips and suggestions that might help you in creating your fantasy team for the first match of IPL 2021 between Mumbai Indians and Royal Challengers Bangalore in Chennai
userCricket.Com Staff
08 Apr 2021
safari
NEWS
Pollard hits nets for first time ahead of IPL 2021 opener
The 33-year-old West Indian completed his quarantine before starting training
userPTI
08 Apr 2021
logo
Cricket like never before
Follow us on
FacebookTwitterLinkedin
@ 2020 cricket.com | All rights reserved