Dubai, Oct 22 (IANS) West Indies captain Kieron Pollard believes that the 2016 final of the ICC men’s T20 World Cup will be definitely in the back of the minds of his team ahead of commencing their title defence on Saturday against England, the very same team they defeated five and a half years ago in Kolkata.
Pollard also revealed that the West Indies team had watched a recording of Carlos Brathwaite’s heroics in the final on Thursday night, bringing goosebumps to the whole side.
“In terms of bearing to say will have a big impact, I don’t think so. But it’s definitely going to be in the back of their minds. I thought what Carlos did in those four deliveries in that last over, it’s unbelievable. It’s something that as a team we actually saw last night, and it brought goosebumps back to us,” said Pollard in the pre-match press conference on Friday.
“For us to be in that situation and get over the line, it shows that sort of never-say-die attitude. We as a team, we look forward to trying to replicate winning the entire tournament, but those sort of moments sort of stick with us. Hopefully we can just go out and play good cricket and get in a position and a situation where we actually are in the final so we can have some memories, as well, going forward.”
“But having said that, I don’t think it’ll have much bearing on the game because it’s like another game of cricket. That situation was totally different being a final. But be that as it may, looking forward to coming out and show and give a good account of ourselves.”
Commenting on the mood in the team ahead of Saturday’s match at the Dubai International Stadium, Pollard said that the mood was upbeat despite losses in both warm-up matches. “I think the mood is upbeat. Yes, we accept that the two warmup games would not have gone how we wanted in terms of scoring the amount of runs and the sort of intent that we are looking for. But be that as it may, I think 40 guys joined the camp with three IPL guys joining for that final, we had a couple days of good intense sessions and guys understanding roles and responsibilities, and we get a sense that the guys are up for it.”
“The guys are just looking forward to starting this tournament, and as I said, yes, we accept we didn’t do well in the warmup games, but be that as it may, it is what it is, we move on from that and we look forward to tomorrow.”
Asked about the combination of the playing eleven for the tournament opener, the 34-year-old didn’t reveal much but said that the team was clear about who wi”l be picked. “In our minds, I think from my perspective, we have an idea of what we want and who — which personnel we want to get on to the cricket field tomorrow.”
“I’m not actually going to give you it, but as I said, we are very, very clear in our minds what we want to achieve, and again, we’re not going to wait sort of last minute to make this decision. We’re looking forward to this game. Guys are just looking to top up this evening, and let’s get the ball rolling,” signed off Pollard.