By Neto Baptiste
Former West Indies captain and knighted Antiguan cricketer, Sir Vivian Richards, believes that Trinidadian Kieron Pollard has brought aggression and energy to the role since he was appointed to head the ODI [One Day International] and T20 squads in September 2019.
Speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show, the legendary batsman said he has seen positive changes in the way players are approaching the game under Pollard’s leadership.
“You see an effort that he is trying to get the guys as motivated as possible and that’s what I think leadership is all about, to let them go that extra mile and you can see that there’s some energy in that particular department, and that he tries things and all that sort of stuff,” he said.
“I think they’re times when maybe, where we let ourselves down in the batting department but we have a good enough 50 overs team. I know that we are solid when it comes to the T20 and I just believe also we just need to continue along that trend and the aggressiveness that the captain brings because, as you can see, he wants the best out of his players and I love every captain who sometimes calls upon his individuals, call them out for them to do better,” he added.
Pollard replaced Barbados’ Jason Holder as captain of both the ODI and T20 squads in September last year despite not having played an ODI since October 2016.
He had scored 9,966 runs with 644 fours and a whopping 650 sixes. Of those 499 matches he has played 71 times for the West Indies, the most memorable appearance being the T20 World Cup final against Sri Lanka when the West Indies were crowned World Champions in Colombo in October, 2012.
Sir Viv also had some advice for struggling top order batsman, Shimron Hetmyer, urging the young cricketer to utilise the downtime brought on by the coronavirus pandemic for reflection.
“Maybe that’s what is needed at that particular point, and I used some words earlier about reflection time, and these are the times now we can do some reflecting and see where we are at now, and when we get an opportunity where we would like to be in the future so this could be a great time for the young man to just reflect and for him to get his thoughts together,” the former player said.
The Guyanese batsman, who plays all formats for the regional men’s team, has struggled with the bat and had been dropped in February for failing a fitness test. Top order batsman, Evin Lewis was also dropped but recalled after later meeting fitness requirements.