Law: Un­der­per­form­ing Pol­lard still valu­able

The Star (Jamaica) - - SPORTS - CHEN­NAI, In­dia (CMC):

West Indies head coach Stu­art Law has de­fended un­der­per­form­ing all-rounder Kieron Pol­lard con­tend­ing the player’s value to the Twenty20 could not be as­sessed purely on the ba­sis of num­bers.

Pol­lard is one of the big­gest names in the T20 for­mat but has strug­gled over the last two years for the Caribbean side, scrap­ing only 124 runs in his last 11 in­nings at an av­er­age of 12.

Pol­lard has scored only two half-cen­turies in 58 matches, with the last of those com­ing six years ago against New Zealand in Florida.

“Pol­lard brings a lot, both on and off the field. With the young­sters in the squad, it’s some­one like Pol­lard who mo­ti­vates them in the dress­ing room,” Law said of the 31-year-old, who has scored 14 and six in the on­go­ing three-match se­ries against In­dia.

BIG­GEST MO­TI­VA­TORS

“He’s a se­nior mem­ber of the squad, and we all know what he’s ca­pa­ble of when he gets go­ing. Pol­lard isn’t in the side only be­cause of what he brings in­side the ground. He’s one of the big­gest mo­ti­va­tors of the young­sters, and he’s just a game away from re­mind­ing us why he’s such a T20 force.”

West Indies are with­out their first-choice squad for the se­ries, miss­ing the likes of Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, An­dre Rus­sell and Su­nil Narine. In re­sponse, se­lec­tors opted for five debu­tants and also in­cluded sev­eral play­ers with min­i­mal ex­pe­ri­ence at the T20 level.

As ex­pected, the tour has been chas­ten­ing one for the Windies. They were swept 2-0 in the Test se­ries, lost the ODI se­ries 3-1 and are be­hind in

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