West Indies stand-in skipper Keiron Pollard lauded his team’s character after the tense one-wicket win over India in a tri-nation ODI series match in Kingston, saying it was a refreshing change from the not so distant past when the side would have “capitulated completely”.
“At the end, we got over the line and that’s what matters,” Pollard, who was standing in for an injured Dwayne Bravo, told reporters after the match in which West Indies made heavy weather of a 230-run chase.
“In the recent past, West Indies teams would have capitulated completely, so it shows we have a bit of fight and character in this side,” he said.
Pollard said the Caribbean team should take pride in its fighting spirit and make attacking cricket a habit.
“We are West Indian cricketers. We attack. If we get into our shell, we get out. That’s how we play cricket and it has worked for us. At the end of the day you have to back yourself,” he said.
“We have to be happy for victories. We cannot say we are not feeling so good because No. 10 (sic.9) and 11 got us over the line. They are batsmen in the team as well,” he added.
But Pollard also pointed out the areas on which the team needs to work to ensure smoother wins.
“It’s just a matter of us doing the things that we haven’t done so well, especially in the middle overs.” he said.
“As middle-order batsmen, we just have to take it upon ourselves and finish it for the team rather than letting No.10 and 11 (win the match),” he explained.
Asked if he felt any pressure while leading the side, Pollard said stress only built on as the game progressed.
“At the start of the game, there wasn’t any pressure. It came later on when we were trying to win the game,” Pollard said.
“We have experienced guys in the side, who have captained West Indies before, who have played all over the world and their knowledge was always going to help me go about the task of trying to lead West Indies,” he added.
Man of the match Johnson Charles, whose 97 laid the foundation of the win, said being calm helped him focus on the target even as wickets fell around him.
“I felt nice and relaxed at the crease. I was told to go out and play my natural game and that is what I did.” Charles said.
“In the last game I had no rhythm but this game I came out with a bit more intent and I knew exactly where I wanted to score. I played to my strengths and played shots according to the fields India set“.
Charles also lauded his team’s bowlers for stifling a star-studded Indian line-up.
“We bowled well against the Indians and reduced them to a score we knew we could chase down,” Charles said.
“The pitch got a bit flatter and was more of a batting pitch. I would have liked to have reached three figures and carry my team to victory but I’m happy we made it two wins in a row.”