West Indies' limited-overs captain Kieron Pollard celebrates his 33rd birthday on Tuesday (May 12, 2020). The swashbuckling all-rounder is a destructive lower middle-order batsman along with being a handy bowler which makes him a great asset for any side. He played a crucial role in guiding West Indies to the ICC T20 World Cup title in 2012. Along with that, Pollard has also been a cornerstone of Mumbai Indians side which has lifted the IPL titles four times. After West Indies' poor run in 2019 World Cup, Pollard was also handed the reins of the side and the all-rounder certainly made a promising start to his captaincy career. Below, we'll look at some of his best performances. Kieron Pollard Scripts History, Becomes First Player to Feature in 500 T20 Matches.
Pollard made his international debut way back in April 2007 and has been a cornerstone of the side since then. Along with that, he is also a popular name in T20 leagues all around the world. In fact, he is the first player to feature in 500 T20 matches. He, however, missed a lot of international matches after 2014 owing to his disputes with the Caribbean board. Nevertheless, he made a comeback as a captain last year and initiated his mission to make Windies great again. Meanwhile, let's look at some of his best performances.
119* Vs India in Chennai
Chasing a total of 268 runs in the 5th ODI of West Indies' 2011 Tour of India, Pollard came into bat at number six after the top order got collapsed. The right-handed batsman didn't just steady the ship but also scored runs at a rapid pace. He went onto register his maiden ODI ton and looked all set to guide his side over the line. However, he didn't get much support from the other end and as a result, Windies lost the game by 34 runs.
38* & 2/6 Vs Australia in Colombo
West Indies were up against the in-form Australian side in the 2nd semi-final of ICC T20 World Cup 2020. However, Pollard’s all-round blitzes guided his side to an easy win. Batting first, the dasher came into bat and number five and attacked the bowlers from the outset. With the help of three fours and as many sixes, he scored 38 runs of mere 15 deliveries, helping his side post 205/4. In the second innings, Pollard bowled just over but took two crucial wickets. Riding on his all-round efforts, the Men in Maroon won the game by 74 runs and advanced to the finals.
4/25 Vs Ireland in Basseterre
The right-arm medium pacer ran through the opposition’s top order during the 2nd T20I of Windies’ 2020 tour of Ireland. The Caribbean captain introduced themselves in the middle overs and foxed the Irish batsmen with his line and lengths. Along with scalping wickets at regular intervals, the veteran all-rounder was also economical in his four-over spells. Courtesy his brilliance, Ireland were restricted to 147/9. However, the game was called off due to rain.
83 Vs Kings XI Punjab in Mumbai
Leading Mumbai Indians for the first time in IPL, the right-handed batsman put up a batting exhibition while chasing 198 runs against KXIP in the 2019 edition of the gala T20 tournament. Coming to bat at number four, Pollard went after the bowlers from the word go and smashed fours and sixes. The likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Mohammed Shami also looked helpless in front of the maverick. Pollard ended up scoring 83 runs off just 31 deliveries and guided his side to a three-wicket triumph.
64 & 4/44 Vs Rajasthan Royals
Another Kieron Pollard special came during the Mumbai Indians vs Rajasthan Royals in IPL 2012. In the first innings, the right-handed batsman made optimum utilization of the end overs and scored 64 off just 33 deliveries, helping Mumbai post 197 runs. Rajasthan also made a decent start while chasing the target. However, Pollard again came to his team’s rescue and took four wickets. As a result, the Royals were bundled out for 170 runs and lost the game by 27 runs.
The on-going year will be very crucial for Pollard’s career if the ICC T20 World Cup 2020 will be held this year. The Men in Maroon boasts off a very strong squad and have a great chance to lift the title for the third time. However, a lot will depend upon Pollard who will not just have the responsibility to deliver with bat and ball but also has the onus to lead the side.