You might have to make tough decisions - Pollard warns top order over continued wastefulness

By January 10, 2020
West Indies West Indies

West Indies Captain Kieron Pollard is tired of inconsistencies in his side and has, in not so many words, told his top-order batsmen they will have to shape up or ship out.

“So sometimes you might have to make tough decisions in certain scenarios,” said Pollard after a lower-order fightback and some luck gave his team a one-wicket victory over Ireland and a series win in their Colonial Medical Insurance One-Day International series at the Kensington Oval in Barbados on Thursday.

Batting first, Ireland had scored 237-9 from their 50 overs and should have had an uphill task to stave of a series defeat in the second game.

However, there was to be no joy for the West Indies’ powerful top order with only Shai Hope, 25, getting into double figures.

Evin Lewis, 7, Shimron Hetmyer, 6, and Brandon King, 0, all falling cheaply.

It took Nicholas Pooran, 52, and Pollard, 40, to stage a sort of comeback that was finished by lower-order batsmen Khary Pierre (18), Hayden Walsh Jr, 46 not out, Alzarri Joseph (16) and Sheldon Cottrell, 7 not out.

The group would score more than 90 runs among them to take the West Indies over the line in a thriller that ended with the penultimate ball of the West Indies innings inching over the ropes thanks to Cottrell’s lofted cover drive.

Pollard was not happy.

“Thank God for small mercies. It took a total team effort for us to get to 237 so, again, we take the win but again we didn’t tick many of the boxes that we spoke about,” said Pollard.

The skipper did like some things about the game though, praising Alzarri Joseph for his four-wicket haul, Cottrell for his three, and Romario Shepherd for keeping the pressure on, despite it being his debut.

Pollard was also happy with the way the team fought to stay in the game for long enough to benefit from what was a lucky final few deliveries.

“Nicholas [Pooran], he got a pretty decent delivery and you can’t fault him but there were some very soft dismissals in our top order and when you look at it you see where we talk about it and guys keep giving it away,” said Pollard.

“A lot of conversations need to take place. At the end of the day we came up with the victory but again, still not happy,” said Pollard.

“We can’t continue to just give away our hand just like that when you have form and confidence because it will come back to bite you,” said Pollard.

Most egregious of the men who gave it away at the top of the order was, once again, Shimron Hetmyer, who went for a pull shot off the bowling of Barry McCarthy having faced just six balls. There was a little extra bounce and Hetmyer, not yet sure what was happening with the pitch, could only manage to top edge the delivery for a grateful Lorcan Tucker.

According to Pollard, there can be no excuses for the top order, bearing in mind the way the lower order approached the game.

“That innings from young Walsh, new in international cricket, and the mettle that he showed in that partnership with Khary Pierre and then Alzarri Joseph, those couple of fours, these guys sticking in there and I hope each and every one of us, the guys that got out before, watch how the lower order went about it. It was a simple case of occupying the crease and playing high-percentage cricket. These are conversations we are trying to have and if the lower order can do it, then the top order has no excuses,” said the skipper.

“A lot of conversations need to take place. At the end of the day, we came up with the victory but again, still not happy.”

Paul-Andre Walker

Paul-Andre is the Managing Editor at SportsMax.tv. He comes to the role with almost 20 years of experience as journalist. That experience includes all facets of media. He began as a sports Journalist in 2001, quickly moving into radio, where he was an editor before becoming a news editor and then an entertainment editor with one of the biggest media houses in the Caribbean.

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