Pollard's focus on Cup, not favourites

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, CMC - Another West Indies cricketer has shrugged off the favourite tag being heaped on the Caribbean side preparing for the ICC T 20 in Sir Lanka later this month. Big hitting all-rounder Kieron Pollard says being labeled as favourites could only put the West Indies players under a certain amount of pressure going into the tournament.

Pollard, who is one of the leading T20 players on the planet, said it’s only performance on the field of play that counts.

“We have a very good team and a lot of people are saying we are favourites. But you know when you are favourites it comes with a pressure tag as well” said Pollard, part of a 15 man squad involved in final preparations at the Sagicor High Performance Centre at UWI, Cave Hill, Barbados.

“But you know hopefully names on paper comes for nothing. It is performance in the field. So it’s a matter of putting all what you have practiced into play”.

Pollard’s comments follow similar statements from West Indies captain Darren Sammy earlier this week playing down the favorites tag.

Windies are currently fifth in the ICC T20 rankings, below South Africa, England, Sri Lanka and India.

The likes of New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor, Australia all-rounder Shane Watson and former India captain Sourav Ganguly have publicly lauded Darren Sammy’s men as one of the favourites to win the World Twenty20.

“Twenty 20 is about who does the basics right. You have a situation to play to the best of your ability and try to executive as properly as possible and hopefully it comes off for you on that day,” said Pollard the joint highest paid player in the 2010 Indian Premier League, representing Mumbai Indians.

“It’s another day of cricket. Another tournament and once we relax and play our cricket we are going to do well”.

West Indies defeated New Zealand in series involving all formats of the game earlier this year, and are currently involved in a week-long training camp ahead of the limited-overs showpiece, which gets underway in Sri Lanka in September.

Pollard said he is anxious to show his worth in bowling after recovering from a shoulder injury that affected his bowling last year.

The West Indians have been pooled with Australia and Ireland in Group B in the 12-team tournament. Their campaign gets underway against the Aussies at the Premadasa Stadium Colombo on Saturday, September 22.

Full Squad: Darren Sammy (Captain), Dwayne Bravo (Vice Captain), Samuel Badree, Darren Bravo, Johnson Charles, Fidel Edwards, Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine, Denesh Ramdin (Wicket-keeper), Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith
Reserves: Sulieman Benn, Tino Best, Devon Thomas
Team Management: Ottis Gibson (Head Coach), Richie Richardson (Team Manager), Toby Radford (Assistant Coach), C.J. Clark (Physiotherapist), Hector Martinez-Charles (Strength & Conditioning Co-ordinator), Richard Berridge (Video & Statistical Analyst), Philip Spooner (Media Manager), Virgil Browne (Massage Therapist)

Warm-up matches
Thursday, Sept 13: vs Sri Lanka - NCC, Colombo
Monday, Sept 17: vs Afghanistan - P Sara Oval, Colombo
First round matches
Saturday, Sept 22: vs Australia - R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Monday, Sept 24: vs Ireland - R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Super Eight matches
Thursday, Sept 27: C1 v D2 - Pallekele
Thursday, Sept 27: A1 v B2 - Pallekele
Friday, Sept 28: D1 v C2 - Colombo
Friday, Sept 28: B1 v A2 - Colombo
Saturday, Sept 29: A1 v D2 - Pallekele
Saturday, Sept 29: C1 v B2 - Pallekele
Sunday Sept 30: B1 v C2 - Colombo
Sunday Sept 30: D1 v A2 - Colombo
Monday, Oct 1: B2 v D2 - Pallekele
Monday, Oct 1: A1 v C1 - Pallekele
Tuesday, Oct 2: B1 v D1 - Colombo
Tuesday, Oct 2: A2 v C2 - Colombo
Thursday, October 4: Super 8 Group 1-1 vs Super 8 Group 2-2 - R Premadasa Stadium
Friday, October 5: Super 8 Group 2-1 vs Super 8 Group 1-2 - R Premadasa Stadium
Grand Final: Sunday, October 7 - R Premadasa Stadium

Thu, 09/06/2012 - 06:59