West Indies squad, remembering Carlos Braithwaites last over match winning innings famously known as the ‘Remember the Name’ innings. Pollard, the West Indian captain, believes that will high will not affect the performance of the team in their opening match against England.
“In terms of personnel and bearing, to say it can have a big impact, I don’t think so. But it’s definitely going to be in the back of our minds. I thought what Carlos did in those four deliveries in that last over, it was unbelievable and it’s something that we actually as a team saw last night and it brought goosebumps back to us. For us to be back in that situation, to get over the line, it shows that sort of never-say-die attitude and we, as a team, look forward to replicating this entire tournament. Those sort of moments stick with us and hopefully we can just go out and play good cricket and get in a position and situation where we are actually in the final, so we can have some memories as well going forward. But having said that, I don’t think it will have much bearing on tomorrow’s game because it’s like another game of cricket as the situation was totally different – it being a final – but be that as it may, looking forward to coming out and show and give a good account of ourselves.”
After missing the finals few matches for Kolkata Knight Riders, Russell returned to play for the West Indies in the warm up match against Afghanistan as he took a wicket for 13 runs.
“As of right now, we have our last practice session this afternoon and will have a last look and see,” Pollard said. “If we’re confident for him Russell to take the field… he played in that warm-up game a couple of days ago and it was just like a trial for him because he hasn’t played a cricket match in about three-four weeks, so there’s still some rust there for him, still needed to be a bit confident in his mind. But I’m sure even yesterday and a couple of days before that, he’s been working tirelessly behind the scenes to be fit.”
In the second leg of the IPL it seemed like Russell had found his form back. It was good news for the Kolkata Knight Riders, until he had his hamstring pull. The injury took him out of the remainder of the tournament. This meant that KKR had to experiment and replace him in the playing XI.
Shakib Al Hasan, who has proved his worth in earlier seasons was picked. Although he has been vital for KKR before, this time his form was not consistent enough to give KKR that middle order balance they required. Especially with Captain Morgan’s form not being up to the mark as a batsman, KKR’s middle order was doomed to fail.
McCullum after the finals defeat said KKR “Couldn’t afford” picking a 80% fit Russell over any other player.
“Look, Andre, he obviously had a hamstring tear earlier on in the competition. He worked unbelievably hard to try and get himself available. There was still a risk there, and it was a risk that I felt in a final, we just couldn’t afford to take,” McCullum said at the post-match press conference.
After a poor season for the Punjab Kings, the West Indian Vice Captain Nicolas Pooran said, “I just have to refocus and go again.” He added, “It’s just for me to refocus now, hit the nets, work hard and plan again – as simple as that.”
Nicolas Pooran, a vital player for the Punjab middle order, didn’t have the focus and form required by the side this season. But, he looks to improve on his skills and abilities to help his country win the T20 World Cup.
Although his performance wasn’t up to the mark in the IPL this season, he did produce amazing strike rates and shots in the CPL for the Guyana Amazon Warriors, proving that this poor performance was just a minor distraction.
He also mentioned that the West Indies side will be trying to take more singles this time around as compared to their previous campaigns, but the focus will still be on the big shots. The two time world cup winners look to dominate the tournament again with the heavy hitters like Gayle, Brathwaite, Russell , Pooran and more on the squad.