West Indies will be looking to take the T20I series against Sri Lanka with some ease having lost 2-0 to New Zealand in 2020 as they prepare for the T20 World Cup scheduled to be hosted in India later this year.
In a meeting with the media, Captain Kieron Pollard noted that while the losing to New Zealand was not what they wanted, all of it must be left in the past as he prefers to focus on the present, owing to the fact that the current series is of the utmost importance.
He went on to state that after coming out of a successful Super 50 tournament, the team must now gel together as fast as possible as they will be aiming to have a mixture of young blood with the experienced players.
The Windies captain also stated that they must get into the habit of winning matches as they are the defending World T20 champions and if it means they would have to include a few veteran players then it must be done.
Pollard also urged the young and upcoming players to give their best and stick their heads out making special reference to Guyana’s Kevin Sinclair who has had an excellent Regional Super50 tournament and CPL 2020 as he was economical with the ball in both tournaments.
Pollard further reiterated that opportunities will present themselves but it is up to the players to remain consistent as their time will soon come.
When asked of the void that will be left by Shimron Hetmyer as he was left out of the white ball squad (T20I and ODI) because he failed to pass his fitness test Pollard said: “A big void, there is no secret about that. But he knows exactly what he needs to do, he knows the reason and honesty as to why he isn’t here at this point and time. We need to be open and honest at times rather than trying to pamper certain situations. Again you “Damn if you do” or you “Damn if you don’t” in certain aspects but he has left a big, big void and we have obviously expressed our disappointment. But in the end, he knows what he has to do to be on these white ball teams.”
The Windies captain noted that the team will require more consistency from the top four batters leading up to the series and much is expected from Lendl Simmons, Evin Lewis, Andre Fletcher and Chris Gayle.
Pollard is hopeful that they can make that big impact and take the three match T20I series. He also went on to note that everyone knows their role in the team and it is expected of them to fulfill that role heading into the first matchup. In closing Pollard insisted that while the Sri Lanka T20 series may not be a marker the West Indies do need to start winning as winning must become a habit for them and all the makers and everything else will come into play.
Tomorrow, commencing at 18:00hrs, West Indies and Sri Lanka will face each other in the first game of the three-match T20I series at Coolidge Cricket Ground (Antigua).