West Indies wary of England backlashMarch 15th, 2011 - 8:25 pm ICT by IANS
Chennai, March 15 (IANS) The West Indies are only too well aware of England’s doggedness marked by the special ability to fight their way out of a tight corner like they are in now, West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard feels.
The two teams face off here Thursday in a key Group B fixture of the Cricket World Cup with the West Indies on six points from four matches and England on five from as many outings.
“Each and every game we go out to play we regard ourselves as favourites. It is another game for us against England. They have not been playing well, but if you look back at the Twenty20 World Cup (in 2010), they were in a similar position and able to bounce back and actually reached the final (and won the tournament).
“We need to win the game. We need to go out and play hard cricket,” said Pollard at a media conference here Tuesday.
The West Indies themselves did pretty well to get back on track after losing their opening game to South Africa. They had three strong results thereafter, though against lesser fancied teams - Ireland, the Netherlands and Bangladesh.
For all that, the West Indies face their real test in their remaining two games, one of which they need to win to qualify for the quarter-finals.
“It is very exciting (situation). We watch the matches on the television and watching the points standing. It is interesting situation for all the teams.
“We know what we need to do and we have been putting our best efforts in practice sessions. We have to go and execute in the competition,” said the 23-year old Trinidadian who himself is trying to shake off the tag as a T20 player.
Likewise, the West Indies cricket has been in doldrums due to various off-the-field reasons and, going into the World Cup, few had given them a chance to even qualify for the knock-out stage much less win the trophy.
“After our loss to South Africa in the first game, we have bounced back with collective performances. We are hoping to win the World Cup, but we were actually written off earlier because of the debacle at home matches. We are looking to go forward in the tournament,” said the hard-hitting batsman.
Pollard rightly pointed out that the team’s World Cup performance will have significant impact on the game back home where the West Indies are struggling to produce quality players on a consistent basis.
“It is very important for us if we can do well in the World Cup and see how well we can get business interested in development of young players back in the Caribbean.
“This should be a stepping stone for us and all the younger players if we can go out and win the World Cup and see that we shall have the talent to compete in the World and beat the top teams,” he said.
In this regard, Pollard emphasized that the West Indies team is doing everything it can to progress in the World Cup by training hard and working on the basics.
“We are well prepared to take on England. We have been improving our game and we will play positive cricket. It is no different when we play England.
“Chris Gayle has recovered and should be available for England match.”
“For us, it is taking match after match. We are attending to our basics at the moment. I think we will be able to do well.
“The group has come along so nicely. No one knows who is going to qualify as yet. It does not matter to us as to who qualifies as long as West Indies make the cut.
“We need to go and win our games in order to progress to next stage,” Pollard said.
He did not seem too concerned about the nature of the pitch for Thursday’s game. The surface came in for some negative comments after the England-South Africa game earlier this month for its inconsistent bounce and sharp turn virtually from the first ball.
“Obviously it (the pitch condition) does matter. If it is not conducive for stroke play, you have to look for percentage shots and what you can play on the wicket on that day.
“So, it is a matter as a batsman to assess the situation, assess the pitch condition and what the bowlers are doing in order to combat that and score enough runs for the team to post a winning total on that day,” he said.
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