No excuses for batting implosion, says Pollard

July 22, 2021 in Sports

Captain Kieron Pollard has refused to entertain excuses for West Indies’ chastening 133-run defeat in Tuesday’s night opening One-Day International against Australia.

In pursuit of 257 for victory at Kensington Oval, West Indies plunged to 123 all out in the 27th over, to fall behind in the three-match ODI series.

And though West Indies have had a Twenty20-laden schedule in recent months, Pollard brushed aside the suggestion his side struggled to make the transition to the 50-overs format, pointing rather to a lack of “fight” and “soft dismissals”, as the reasons behind the poor effort.

“If you say that, then that’s an excuse because in the [Sri Lanka] series prior to this we played three T20 matches before the 50 overs and we were able to go and chase different totals at different times,” Pollard argued.

“Obviously the personnel is different, yes a couple guys would have played in that T20 series, [but] the mode of dismissals wasn’t actually one of guys ‘swiping out their hands’.

“They were soft dismissals, maybe sometimes a little bit of technical deficiencies in negotiating what was thrown up at us.

“So if we look to go down that road [of excuses], to me it would be taking the gloss off the good things we have done in the T20 series.”

He continued: “So let’s not go down that road and let’s just put it down to that we weren’t able to adapt to the high quality bowling that was presented to us last night, and hopefully with a couple discussions … let’s see what happens in the next ODI.”

West Indies were ripped apart by Man-of-the-Match left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc who claimed five for 48 and new ball partner Josh Hazlewood, who picked up three for 11.

Evin Lewis fell to the very first ball of the run chase, caught and bowled by Starc, who then removed Jason Mohammed’s off-stump in his next over, the third of the innings with four runs on the board.

Wickets then fell steadily as West Indies found themselves tottering on 27 for six in the eighth over before Pollard lashed 56 off 57 balls, in a 68-run, seventh wicket stand with Alzarri Joseph (17), to salvage some pride.

Pollard admitted the batting performance had been difficult to put into words but pointed to the inability of batsmen to cope with the Aussies new-ball burst.

“Sometimes with performances like that, you don’t have words to actually describe it,” Pollard said.

“It was there for everyone to see that we didn’t have that fight from a batting perspective. There were a couple soft dismissals.

“And we know Australia are very, very dangerous with the new ball, especially Mitchell Starc in the first two or three overs, and we weren’t able to negotiate that.

“They broke the back of us very early and at 27 for six after less than ten overs, you’re asking for trouble.”

He added: “It’s not something that we take very lightly and we are very, very disappointed about what transpired from a batting perspective.”

West Indies face Australia in the second ODI today at Kensington Oval.