8th Feb, 2023

Sometimes as a captain you take a back seat to watch the talent flourish: Kieron Pollard

By MI Emirates Media

Kieron Pollard has led from the front in guiding MI Emirates to the play-offs of the ongoing ILT20 tournament, and on the eve of the Eliminator against the Dubai Capitals at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, the Trinidadian expects his team to take the match as any other ordinary game, and relish the scenarios to bring out their best after what they have done to reach this stage.

“We have adjusted well (in all conditions). As players we understand well, what is needed, shots that we need to play, and from a bowling perspective knowing the right lines and lengths, so we have adapted pretty well,” Pollard said after the team’s training session at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium here.

“But as I always say, all these things count for nothing when it’s the Eliminator because before the start of the game there is pressure as you know if you lose you get knocked out. But for me, it’s not only another game of cricket but one that you should relish as a cricketer in these scenarios to bring out your best after what you have done to get to this stage,” he added.

Pollard, who is second in the list of highest run-getters in the tournament with an aggregate of 337 runs at a staggering strike rate of 198.23, and with an average of 67.40, believes that the team deserves full marks for the way they have played and managed to confirm their place for the play-offs even before a couple of games were left in the league phase. 

“We have been tested, at times we have played very good cricket, also made some elementary mistakes and these things do happen but overall the first instance in any tournament is to get to the playoffs, and to get there with one or two games to go before the end of the league phase was a good job by the team,” said the Trinidadian.

MI Emirates finished third on the ILT20 table after recording five wins from their 10 outings, with one match being washed out. 

From a leadership point of view, Pollard, said he tries not to put his players under much pressure but at the same time prefers to take the back seat and back their performances. 

“As a captain, I try to focus on situations, and try not to put my players in too many pressure situations understanding what they can handle, and again watch their talents flourish. Sometimes you can lead from behind as well by just letting the youngsters enjoy themselves and show their youthful exuberance and gain experience of what is needed. You just take a step back and enjoy what they do,” the MI Emirates skipper said.

Exuding confidence on the younger players for raising their hands whenever the situation demanded, Pollard said, “I am sure these experiences will help them because they are going to be the future of cricket.”

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