Mumbai Indians captain Rohit Sharma agreed with the team’s decision to leave Kieron Pollard out of the squad ahead of Thursday’s encounter against Chennai Super Kings.
Similar to former West Indian teammate Chris Gayle last year, Pollard was left out of the line-up on his 35th birthday. Instead, the team opted to go with South Africa big-hitter Tristan Stubbs on debut.
Despite it being a special day for the West Indian, few could have disagreed with the decision considering the player’s recent form. In 11 IPL matches so far, the big West Indian has scored just 144 runs at an average of 14.40 and with a strike rate of 107.46. The ball-striking tally is the player’s lowest since he made his debut in the IPL in 2010.
In explaining the decision, Sharma insisted the team, which is currently bottom of the IPL, has begun to contemplate its future.
“Keeping an eye on the future, Pollard is out and Stubbs is in. He (Pollard) was the one who came up to us and he was ready for it,” Rohit told Star Sport.
“We want to try out a few players, got to see what they have to offer.”
But West Indies fast bowler turned commentator Ian Bishop does not believe Pollard is washed-up but insisted the time has come for the player to adjust his game.
Having retired from international cricket a few weeks ago, some have suggested that it might be time for Pollard to take another step in moving away from the sport entirely. While acknowledging that he has struggled in the tournament this season, Bishop believes the player could still have a bit more left in the tank.
“People are saying he’s washed, I’m not going to go there. I think he’s a player who can reinvent himself,” Bishop told ESPNcricinfo.
“You look at Pollard’s numbers when Mumbai have won the championships: 400 runs in 2013 at 42, up to 2019 and 2020, where he averaged over 30 with a strike rate sometimes in the 160s to 190s – he’s been integral to them. You can’t forget that as a franchise, so they’re giving him every possible chance,” he added.
Despite the franchise choosing to stick with the veteran player, however, Bishop insisted it’s up to Pollard to adjust.
“Pollard himself has to reinvent his game, however, he chooses to do that, because he’s still got a future ahead of him we hope.” (SportsMax)