IPL 2019 | I've Endured a Lot, Try to Maximise God-given Talent: Pollard

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: April 11, 2019, 9:37 AM IST
IPL 2019 | I've Endured a Lot, Try to Maximise God-given Talent: Pollard

Kieron Pollard (BCCI)

Monster on the field, humble giant off the field! Chasing 198, Mumbai Indians stand-in skipper Kieron Pollard promoted himself to No. 4 and smoked 83 off just 31 balls to help his team pull off a miraculous chase for a last-ball win over Kings XI Punjab.

"I want to thank god firstly. I've endured a hard time from everyone, I want to thank him for giving me the strength and the courage to continuously do what I do.

"I went up the order as I enjoy batting at Wankhede. I wanted to make use of the (lack of) spin. There wasn't much spin, I thought it we could get five-six sixes off Ashwin we could bring down the (required) run-rate," Pollard explained at the post-match presentation ceremony. "Unfortunately, that didn't happen. But it was about staying calm and keeping my base.

"I enjoyed every six, I love to see the ball sailing into the stands. I know that once I keep my eyes on the ball and keep my base, more often than not I'm going to get it. It was just a matter of keeping calm. I've endured a lot, my back is very broad but when I come out each and every day, I try to maximise my god-given talent.

"This one goes to the team, we rallied really hard in the field. It was a difficult pitch to bowl on and good to bat on, so we did well with the ball after the start they got. We did pull things back in the middle and lost it plot at the end. But we finished on the right end of the result."

The night was Pollard's, but he insisted Rohit Sharma would return soon to take charge as captain.

"Obviously, Rohit is the captain of the team and it was only a precautionary measure for this game (to rest him)," he said. " We have two games in six days. He should be fine in the next game. I would gladly give it back to him and field at the boundary and will see what I can do to help the team win matches.

Meanwhile, Hardik Pandya, who didn't contribute much either with bat or ball, said for the first time he felt like a required run-rate of 17 per over was par.

"Heart is pumping pretty fast. Pollard is a legend! One guy who could do this, it was Kieron Pollard," he said. "That time and situation needed both of us had 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," he gushed.

"It (the nerves when Pollard got out with three balls remaining) was still better from the situation we started off from. If Polly was there , he could have finished it off in one ball and obviously we didn't have any set batsman. Four runs, four balls I thought we got this game."

Kings XI Captain R Ashwin said they were sloppy on the field, but heaped heavy praise on KL Rahul, Chris Gayle and Mohammed Shami. Rahul batted through the innings and scored a 64-ball 100. He was well supported by Gayle who smacked 63 in 36 deliveries. Apart from Shami (3 for 21), every Punjab bowler was taken to the cleaners. It didn't help that they dropped a couple of catches too.

"We were a bit up and down with our fielding and catching. Probably if we would have been sharper, we would have ended up on the right side," said Ashwin. "I think it was a defendable total. It was just about par. It is a hard defending ground. We were going at about 10s for 10-12 overs and then we lost a little momentum while batting which I feel was crucial for us.

"I thought we were pretty good as a bowling unit in bits and pieces. Shami was really good and we were good in the middle overs. Somehow we could not close the game out. He (Ankit Rajpoot) injured his finger in the first over. It was a big bonus that we got three overs from him in the powerplay.

"At the end of the day Pollard batted beautifully and took the game away from us. Quite a lot of positives. We showed a lot of composure with the bat. Rahul batted through and closed out the inning. We could have been a little more steelier and smarter with our plans."

Ashwin also came in support of Sam Curran who was smashed for 54 runs in his four overs.

"Sam was under the pump. It can happen when there is a lot of dew. It is one of a kind experience for him in the IPL. He will get better and get richer with experience. Sometimes with the dew you can miss the yorker like it happened to Sam."
First Published: April 11, 2019, 9:30 AM IST

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