KINGSTON, Jamaica – Consistency will be the key aim for West Indies when they face Ireland in the first of three One-Day Internationals at Sabina Park starting this Saturday.
The Caribbean side have experienced mixed results inside the last two years, winning seven of their last 15 ODIs, and now find themselves ranked number eight in the International Cricket Council rankings, only above Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.
Kieron Pollard told a media conference on Friday it was important that West Indies stepped up their winning habits in the format but also urged patience with the group.
“A lot has been said over the last couple of months in terms of performances, in terms of our West Indies teams,” he said.
“[In terms of] us winning games and doing well it has not been great and it is something that sort of has been accepted … us not being able to string performances together on a consistent basis.
“That has been sort of the nature of some of the conversations we’ve been having in terms of churning out those consistent performances and hopefully the fans can continue to bear with us until we find the right combination and get the guys in that mindset to actually perform on a consistent basis.
“I’m not going to hide from that fact … but we have an opportunity again to try to put things right. This is a different format to the ones that we have played recently and we’re looking forward to the challenge of the series and the season ahead.”
A weakened West Indies opened 2021 with a 3-0 whitewash away to Bangladesh but bounced back with a 3-0 thrashing of Sri Lanka in the Caribbean months later.
Australia edged them 2-1 in July in Barbados but any chance of finishing the year strongly was squashed when a COVID-19 outbreak in the camp forced the abandonment of the three-match series in Pakistan last December.
As a result, Pollard said the squad were champing at the bit to prove their mettle in the upcoming series.
“The guys have come and I can safely say that the spirits are high, the guys want to perform because they didn’t get that opportunity to play the one-day leg of the Pakistan series,” Pollard pointed out.
“So they’re looking forward to it (Ireland series) and the last three days or so, you can see the enthusiasm and the excitement in the guys, so hopefully that can transcend onto the cricket field and we can start 2022 on a different level and start that template going forward.”
West Indies swept Ireland 3-0 the last time the two teams met in early 2020 and Pollard stressed it was important his side produced a positive result this time around.
“These [games] are for Super League points so we would want to come out and play a brand of cricket where we can win all three games,” Pollard stressed.
“The sad reality is I don’t believe if we win these games – this might be taken out of context – it is something people would expect us to do … but if we were to lose, then that brings a different perspective.
“So we’re in a position where it is about focussing on what needs to be done as a team going forward.”
WEST INDIES – Kieron Pollard (captain), Shamarh Brooks, Roston Chase, Justin Greaves, Jason Holder, Gudakesh Motie,
Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran, Devon Thomas, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Jayden Seales, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith.
IRELAND – Andrew Balbirnie (captain), William Porterfield, Harry Tector, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Curtis Campher, Neil Rock, Lorcan Tucker, Mark Adair, George Dockrell, Joshua Little, Andy McBrine, Barry McCarthy, Benjamin White, Craig Young.