Speaking to the reporters on the eve of his team’s next game against Royal Challengers Bangalore, the West Indian all-rounder rubbished any thoughts of negativity creeping into the side.
“I don’t think we are down right now. If we were down right now, we should be home. We have got over that. We have had conversations going. We had talks at different levels of where we need to go forward and actually try and finish off those games. The guys are looking forward to it. We are here for the last practice session before the big game tomorrow,” said the 30-year-old.
All of MI’s defeats have come in close, thrilling matches which have stretched to the last over. Asked which the areas where MI could get better are, Pollard said: “Two of those matches (in which MI lost) we took nine wickets. So, we have to get one more wicket. That is one area to improve. Take ten wickets to win the match. Again, it is just a matter of trying to be consistent in what you are trying to achieve, especially at the back end of the innings. I think 190-odd on any ground is sometimes defendable. These things happen.”
In jest, he then asked the journalists if they had any suggestions on how MI could buck the trend of losing nerve-wracking thrillers. “Three games in a row, we have lost in the last over. If you guys have any idea to tell us how to get over the line, if it happens again, you guys obviously know a lot of cricket, so, give us an idea of what to do,” he said.
Having managed 28 & 0, Pollard is yet to his straps, but the explosive Caribbean seemed unruffled about it. “For me, I’m not bothered. As any cricketer, if you do not perform, you’re dropped. You look at these three games. As any cricketer, if you do not perform, you’re dropped. You look at these three games. One game I didn’t bat. The second game, we were in a difficult position. And in the third, these things happen. Again, it is easy after two games, (to say) pick this one, drop this one, this guy should play. But again there are a lot of things other than pick and drop. Again, when you go to the squad, who are you going to select next?” he said.
Pollard was happy for his fellow Caribbean, superstar batsman Chris Gayle, who smashed 63 off 33 balls to in the first game he played in IPL-11 for Kings XI Punjab, on Sunday night. “When you talk about Gayle, you talk about the guy with most T20 runs, the best record, the most sixes, the most dominant force in T20 cricket. As a fellow West Indian, it is disappointing that he didn’t fetch a buyer in the first or second round. But he eventually got a buyer. And in his first game in the tournament, it was pleasing to see do what he can do. It seems like he has to prove himself once again. And ‘Universe Boss’ does in fine style, he did it well. And as a fellow West Indian, it is pleasing to see him come out and score runs, it is pleasing for me to see Russell, Bravo and all the guys doing well,” said the 30-year-old.
Asked what advice he was giving fellow West Indian and new MI recruit Evin Lewis, who’s made scores of 0, 29 & 48 so far, Pollard, who’s into his ninth IPL season for MI, said: “Nothing much. He has been playing a lot of international cricket recently. The only difference is that IPL being the biggest T20 tournament in the world, the expectations are high. There is no room for failure. But at the end of the day, you still have to come and enjoy yourself and enjoy the experience. We have been speaking about it. He has seen a lot of it on television. It is a matter of him soaking in the atmosphere, and as we can see, he has got into the groove, a couple of scores under his belt, hoping as a team that he can bat and bat a bit longer and get a big score for not only himself but also for the team.”