Kieron Pollard Q&A: West Indies can gain World T20 title momentum by crushing England
Injured all-rounder says consistency will make Windies a match for any side...
Last Updated: 16/01/14 3:59pm
While Kieron Pollard's power game is on recharge, skysports.com caught up with the West Indies all-rounder to talk about England's upcoming ODI tour, Ben Stokes, the IPL and Manchester United's trip to Chelsea...
First things first, how is your knee injury and will you be fit for England's tour next month?
Kieron Pollard: My chances of playing against England are pretty slim, if I'm totally honest. I'm getting a lot of treatment - about six hours a day - at Isokinetic in Central London and things are coming along pretty well but I don't want to push it too much and rush back too early. It's my first major injury in cricket but I believe everything happens for a reason.
Even so, getting back for March's ICC World Twenty20 defence must be a huge incentive?
KP: My chances of playing in the World Twenty20 are a bit better and as defending champions that tournament is very important to us. It all depends on how the doctors see it. Dr Tony Kochhar has been very instrumental from the start and has put together my rehabilitation programme so hopefully I'll be back on the field pretty soon.
After damaging your cruciate ligament in a charity football match, was it any consolation to meet Nani during your rehabilitation at Isokinetic?
KP: I'm a Manchester United fan so it was great to rub shoulders with one of the players. I'm hoping to get along to Stamford Bridge for Sunday's match. I'd love to see the two teams at Old Trafford too, but that day will come! It's a big game for both clubs in an important season for United, given the change of manager and players. It takes a while for everybody to get together but having said that you always have confidence in your team. David Moyes is instilling a good spirit in the club and they can go on and win the title.
Dwayne Bravo (left) congratulates Kirk Richards on his century against New Zealand
Back to cricket - Kirk Edwards scored an unbeaten 123 at No 3 as West Indies racked up 363-4 before drawing 2-2 with New Zealand last week. Just how good is he?
KP: Kirk is a good talent. He might not be the best technically but he has a great attitude and is determined to do well. He can concentrate for long periods of time. You need fours and sixes in ODIs but you also need guys who can hold the innings together and once Kirk is in he can exploit the bowling, as we saw in his maiden hundred. Chris [Gayle] and the other guys are close to returning so it might not be the same team that played against New Zealand playing against England. There is a lot of young blood coming through but you also have to make use of the best talent you have.
That score was the West Indies' highest ever ODI total. Just how worried should England be?
KP: That total shows what this West Indies team can do and the talent that we have but I think it's fair to say that as a team we haven't been as consistent as we'd like. It shows in our cricket; we play one brilliant game and then have a bad one. Once we can get that consistency right and do all the basic stuff I think we can put up a challenge against any international team.
As a fellow all-rounder, how impressed have you been with the emerging Ben Stokes?
KP: I've been keeping an eye on England's scores in Australia. The Ashes was the first time I saw Stokes - I've never played against him, even in Twenty20s. Having an all-rounder who can come in at number six and bowl at over 85mph can only be good for England. I'm sure he's got the talent to do well.
You've just been retained by the Mumbai Indians for this year's IPL. How special was it to win last year's tournament and hit 60no in the final?
KP: That was really massive because Mumbai hadn't won in the five previous years. We reached the final in my first year, in 2010, and it was pretty heart-breaking to lose - especially as I think it was a game we should have won. It's fantastic to win any competition but being named player of the final made it even more special.
You're clearly a man in demand. Could we see you back in county cricket any time soon?
KP: As soon as I'm fit, I'm going to try as much cricket as I can because that's what I love; cricket has given me everything in life so far. Hopefully I'll go back to Somerset but it all depends on my availability and schedule.
Do you think there are too many teams in our NatWest T20 Blast in comparison to the IPL and BBL?
KP: I don't think it's a problem but the way the competition is formatted this year makes me think that you won't get as many overseas players signing up for just the T20 only. I'd expect overseas players to sign for the whole county season, including the T20 season, because otherwise they'll be playing just one T20 game a week. That could be quite frustrating!
You were part of the West Indies team that lost 3-2 at home to England in 2009, which featured an Andrew Flintoff hat-trick in the fifth ODI. Does losing that series still rankle?
KP: I remember the final match in St Lucia because we were competing but once again lost our way. We had an opportunity to win that series after going 2-1 up but the inconsistency of our play proved detrimental. Playing against England is always good and the guys look forward to it but this time there's the added factor of building up to the World Twenty20. Momentum will be important and if we can build up our confidence against England I think we'll feel confident going into the World Cup.
Watch England's tour of the West Indies live on Sky Sports, starting with the first one-day international, from 1pm on Sky Sports 2 on Friday 28th February.