More than two years after playing his last one-day international, West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard is hopeful that his IPL exploits can fetch him a place in the Windies squad for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2019.
Pollard slammed a belligerent 31-ball 83 on Wednesday, 10 April, to power Mumbai Indians’ successful chase of 198 against Kings XI Punjab. Captaining the side in the absence of regular skipper Rohit Sharma, Pollard’s effort almost single-handedly took Mumbai to victory.
While the Windies have a bounty of death-overs power-hitters in the likes of Andre Russell and Carlos Brathwaite, Pollard’s experience is invaluable. He has 2289 ODI runs in 101 matches, at 25.71, with a highest score of 119 and strike-rate over 92.89.
Asked if he could take the flight to England with performances such as this, Pollard said: “The most I can do every time I step on the cricket field is try to put runs on the board. There are people there who have the job to select, and let’s see how that goes. I’m 31 years [old], Chris Gayle is still playing, he’s 39, and he’s whacking it all around.”
Pollard has picked up after a dull start to the season, notching up scores of 17*, 46* and 83 in his last three innings. At 31, he remains a livewire on the field and offers solid overs with his medium pace.
On Wednesday, after an unbeaten 100 from KL Rahul, Punjab had the game in control as Mumbai struggled to garner momentum, stuttering to 65/3 after 10 overs, and 109/4 in 13. It resulted in the required rate escalating to 13.5 at one point in the chase.
Pollard, however, changed the course of the innings thereafter, smashing three fours and ten sixes in his powerful innings.
“Pollard is a legend! One guy who could do this, it was Kieron Pollard,” gushed Hardik Pandya. “That time and situation needed both of us to go for it, but I could not connect much today. Pollard was backing himself, and for the first time in my life, while sitting outside, I thought 17 per over is a par score.”