Pollard concedes team struggles rotating strike, reveals challenges in resolving the problem

By July 09, 2021

As the West Indies heads into their five-match T20 series against Australia, white-ball captain Kieron Pollard has conceded that the team struggles with rotating the strike but says they are constantly working to resolve the problem.

He does admit, however, that there are limitations to what they are able to do and when.

The West Indies – two-time T20 World Champions – lost the just concluded five-game series 3-2 to South Africa primarily because the team consistently failed to chase modest totals despite the presence of a number of power hitters in its batting lineup. Statistics showed that while they have out-hit their opponents with sixes and fours, it is in the rotating of the strike that the team is weakest allowing as many as eight overs per match in ‘dot balls’.

Pollard believes the situation could become a concern, especially when it seems that the players are not able to deliver in situations when they are unable to blast balls to or over the boundary.

“Actually, the results will show what they actually do under pressure,” Pollard said in a pre-series press conference on Thursday, “then we as individuals will have to take stock and decide what happens next. At the minute, we admit, yes, we are struggling. Yes, we are not great at rotating the strike but what we can do is just try to improve in that aspect of it, and it can become a concern.

“We concede that, yes, that is what it is and we try to improve every time.”

However, there are limitations to how much time the team spends trying to address the problem as there is often little time available to work on fixing the issue before and during series.

“Before the series we have time, we might get open nets,” he explained.

“We got some open nets in Grenada (prior to the South Africa series), which was fantastic. So we were able to work on our manoeuvring game, rotating the strike in a couple of sessions, whereas no boundaries we’re just looking to rotating the ball, so we had that opportunity.”

He explained further that once a series begins there is hardly any time available for the players to work on situations that might pop up once the matches begin.

“When you play a series or in-between a series, you play two games back-to-back, you have one-day rest, you play another game and you have one-day rest, the toll it takes on the body of the individual is very high,” he said.

“How much can you actually work, from a practical perspective, to get it right; and to also get an open net in order to get it done, because within the confinements of the nets, how much assistance can you get? So sometimes between series, it is very difficult for that to take place.

“With that being said, the most at times we can do is have conversations, the most at times, is show guys visuals of what we expect and what they do in these scenarios and when we do get the opportunity, we try to work on it as much as possible.

“Like yesterday (Wednesday), we didn’t get an open net but we got a net where we can rotate the strike, we were looking for singles, we were looking for gaps, not necessarily power hitting and if you do that, if you hit a six or a boundary, there are consequences so that’s the only way.

“So when we get the opportunity to do it, we do it, the other times we just have to speak about it and hope that it resonates with the guys and hope that when we get onto the field, it works.”

The first match in the five-match T20 series bowls off this evening at 7:30 pm (6:30 in Jamaica) at the Darren Sammy Stadium in St Lucia.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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