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Monday, May 2, 2011

Pollard happy to contribute to Mumbai victory.

A forceful performance from Kieren Pollard earned the powerful West Indian the ‘Man of Match’ award against Kings XI Punjab. After sitting in the dugout in the initial phase, he is happy to strike when opportunity presented itself in IPL4’s game number 40 at the Wankhede stadium. “I enjoyed watching Sachin Tendulkar bat when not playing. I am a teamman so as long as my team is winning, you use the time outside to learn and deliver when the team decides to give you a chance.”

The bat was a weapon in his hands, two huge sixes marked a quickfire 20 off 11 balls. Pollard then came out and lend his weight in the field with two catches and one vital wicket of Dinesh Karthik got him the attention in a squad packed with match-winners. “The challenge is to perform when you get a chance in pressure situations. T20 is a game where momentum swings in short space of say three overs. You should deliver when the team wants.”

The West Indian’s catch on the fence to sent back Paul Valthaty was a breakthrough for MI. Pollard explains: “The batsman had hit a six the previous ball, so I worked it out and positioned myself a little straighter.” He uses time at the nets to pick up tips from experienced internationals in the squad. “We have Sachin, Andrew Symonds, Harbhajan Singh who have a lot of experience in international cricket.

I try to learn by watching and talking to them at the nets and incorporate those things in my game.”

Playing the IPL instead of turning out for West Indies, at a time when few key players and the Board are at loggerheads, is a tricky time for the all-rounder. “At some times, you have to agree to disagree. I hope players and board sit across and discuss things out for the betterment of West Indies cricket.” Pollard and Chris Gayle are two frontline West Indies players turning out to be match-winners for MI and Kolktata Knight Riders respectively.

Kings XI captain Adam Gilchrist, replying to a query about future possibility of five foreign players in IPL squads, said: “The IPL is a domestic tournament aimed at giving lesser known Indians players the change to go far. I wonder it will serve the purpose if the event gets top-heavy with international players. Look at the English Premier League. I know it is highly entertaining, but it is doing enough for English football the way IPL should be assisting development of Indian cricket?” the Aussie great pondered.

Referring to the loss against Mumbai Indians, he said: “Mumbai Indians have big players who keep firing away from match to match. Defeating Mumbai is tough, but possible if all aspects of your game are working.

Our bowlers did their part well to restrict them, we only fell about 20 runs short, which is pretty close.”

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