T20 World Cup: West Indies captain Kieron Pollard banks on Chris Gayle to come good in T20 WC, become highest run-scorer in T20 WC

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard will be leading the defending champions in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. As the mega tournament will kick start tomorrow Pollard has backed veteran Windies opening batsman Chirs Gayle to become the highest run-scorer in the tournament and help West Indies retain the trophy.

The defending champions West Indies begin their campaign against England on October 23 at the Dubai International Stadium here. Heading into the showpiece, Gayle is just 97 runs short of becoming the highest run-scorer in T20 World Cup, and Pollard said that there are no words to describe what the ‘Universe Boss’ has done for their country.

“Again, no words to describe what he has done for us in World Cups, in the T20 World Cups, and T20 cricket around the world as an individual,” Pollard said during a captains’ media session here on Saturday.

“For him, 97 runs away, but I don’t think he will be looking at that. I think the main goal for us and him, is trying to win a World Cup and defend the title. He is looking forward to that. Hopefully, he can come and deliver for us. We back him to do well,” Pollard added.

The IPL was “a good experience” despite his franchise Mumbai Indians’ failure to make the playoffs, according to Pollard.

“I thought it was good for us and again not only as but all the players who are involved in this World Cup… get an opportunity to get a feel for what the UAE has to offer.

“I am sure some interesting sort of stats, comparisons, different sort of trends might have come out of the recently-concluded IPL,” Pollard said during the interaction organised by the ICC.

The IPL ended here on Friday with Chennai Super Kings beating Kolkata Knight Riders in the final to win their fourth title. “… So, the other thing about that consideration, take the context of the surfaces, the atmosphere, and put it within your game plan and try to plan to code the opposition.

WI Schedule

  • October 23, 2021: vs England, Dubai (07:30 PM IST)
  • October 26, 2021: vs South Africa, Dubai (03:30 PM IST)
  • October 29, 2021: vs Qualifier (B2), Sharjah (03:30 PM IST)
  • November 4, 2021: vs Qualifier (A1), Abu Dhabi (07:30 PM IST)
  • November 6, 2021: vs Australia, Abu Dhabi (03:30 PM IST)

“For us, most of our guys got an opportunity to recently play here in the IPL in the UAE and we are looking forward to hit the ground running and start on that sort of positive note and get that first two points and see what happens after that,” added Pollard.

West Indies won the 2016 edition of the T20 World Cup after Carlos Braithwaite hammered four successive sixes off Ben Stokes at the iconic Eden Gardens. “Unfortunately I wasn’t there because of injury but I think the way the guys played in that game and through that tournament was fantastic, Carlos at the back end hitting those four sixes in that last over, a lot of memories overcome because of that.

“We are excited and looking forward for another opportunity to try to defend this trophy,” the 34-year-old said, adding they have lots of powerful players in their line-up. “We are looking forward to trying to play complete games of cricket and let results take care of itself,” Pollard signed off.

West Indies Squad for ICC T20 World Cup 2021

Kieron Pollard (captain), Nicholas Pooran, Fabian Allen, Dwayne Bravo, Roston Chase, Andre Fletcher, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Obed McCoy, Lendl Simmons, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh Jr. 

Reserves: Darren Bravo, Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein