SHARJAH, United Arab Emirates – Legendary Pakistan fast bowler, Waqar Younis, believes Kieron Pollard is hurting West Indies team morale with his lackadaisical approach and should be axed for tomorrow’s final One-Day International against Pakistan.
Speaking in his role as a television analyst following the second ODI on Sunday, Waqar said the big-hitting all-rounder “did not even try” as the Caribbean side slid to a 59-run defeat in pursuit of an imposing 338 for victory at Sharjah Cricket Stadium.
Pollard entered in the 38th over with West Indies on 194 for four and facing a required run rate of nearly 12 an over but displayed little aggressive intent.
“His approach and the way he played in this game and in any of the T20 games, you’re destroying the morale of the team,” said Waqar, the second highest wicket-taker in Pakistan Test history with 373 scalps from 87 games.
“The way he batted – he went in with 11 and over or about 12 an over required and he is known for this sort of situation. And he just went in and he hit one boundary and batted the entire time and not going anywhere.
“He wasn’t there, he was not in the middle so I feel he needs a break. Whoever you want to bring in, Pollard needs a break. That’s how I feel.”
Pollard has been a peripheral figure in what has been a wretched series, as West Indies have lost all five of their games against Pakistan, spanning the three-match Twenty20 series and the ongoing ODI series.
The right-hander managed nine from 17 balls in the first T20 which the Windies lost by eight wickets, scored 18 from 13 deliveries in the side’s 16-run defeat in the second game and got 16 from 12 balls in the last game which ended in an eight-wicket loss.
So far in the two ODIs, Pollard has scored nine and 22 – the latter innings on Sunday requiring 29 balls and ending with him holing out in the deep in the penultimate over with the game already gone.
Great former West Indies batsman and captain Sir Vivian Richards, also a television analyst for the series, agreed changes were necessary for the final ODI, with Pollard perhaps sitting out and left-hander Jonathan Carter coming in.
He also argued for Gabriel to play alongside 19-year-old speedster Alzarri Joseph, who made his debut on Sunday.
“I think that if Shannon is fit for the next match why not play the two individuals (Gabriel and Joseph). It’s a good suggestion in terms of Pollard, [he] didn’t really show up tonight (Sunday),” Sir Viv said.
“… but those particular two in that sense in the fast bowling department, it would be nice to see Shannon Gabriel back [alongside] Alzarri Joseph.”