New players ready to have a go at Lanka
Hambantota, Sri Lanka – Allrounder Kieron Pollard is hoping to make a major impact during the upcoming limited-overs series in Sri Lanka. The tall, powerful allrounder of one of four new players drafted into the Windies squad for the five One-Day Internationals and T20 International.
The others are left-arm spinner Nikita Miller, pacer Ravi Rampaul and Kirk Edwards, a right-handed middle-order on his first international tour. This trio played in the recent series against Pakistan A in the Caribbean.
Speaking on Tuesday, Pollard said he was enjoying the vibe in the camp since he arrived and was focussed on making a contribution to the side’ success. The first ODI will be on Thursday at the new Suriyawewa Stadium in the southern town of Hambantota. First ball in the day/night encounter is 2.30 pm (5 am Eastern Caribbean Time/4 am Jamaica Time).
“I am very happy to be back in the West Indies team. I want to give my all and perform and put some scores on the board. I don’t think I have a point to prove, but I want to improve my performances at the international level and make the most of the opportunities on this tour,” the 23-year-old Pollard said.
Edwards, 26, was selected after some good performances in the West Indies A Team. He has fitted in well and said he’s looking to grab this opportunity with both hands.
“Being selected to the West Indies team is a dream come true. As a little boy growing up in Barbados one of my ambitions was to represent the West Indies and I have been rewarded. The hard work starts now and I want to take this opportunity and make the most of it. I want to keep learning and making progress ... I want to do well.”
Miller made his international debut in 2008 and has played 33 ODIs and seven T20Is. He too is looking forward to coming weeks. “I will be looking to continue my familiar pattern, which is to create pressure on the batsmen and look for wickets. The pitches here in Sri Lanka are usually ideally suited for batting but in recent times there has been a lot of rain around so that might change things a bit. No matter the conditions, cricket is a game of mental strength and I am confident that once I work hard and have the right approach I will reap success.”
Rampaul, has played 50 ODIs since making his debut back in 2003. “I see myself as a wicket-taker and I am looking to make a positive contribution to the team’s success on this tour. I think I did well in the matches against Pakistan A and I happy the selectors have given me an opportunity on this tour. Part of my job is to bowl at the ‘death’ and that is something I have been working hard at to perfect,” he said.
WEST INDIES SQUAD: Darren Sammy (Captain), Adrian Barath, Carlton Baugh, Sulieman Benn, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Shiv Chanderpaul, Kirk Edwards, Chris Gayle, Nikita Miller, Kieron Pollard, Kemar Roach, Ravi Rampaul, Andre Russell, Devon Smith
December 9: 1st ODI at Suriyawewa Stadium, Hambantota
December 11: 2nd ODI at Suriyawewa Stadium, Hambantota
December 15: 3rd ODI at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
December 17: 4th ODI at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
December 19: 5th ODI at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
December 21: T20 International at R Premadasa Stadium, Colombo