Pollard believes Windies hold Twenty20 advantage
Kieron Pollard believes West Indies could hold the mental edge over Australia ahead of Sunday's Twenty20 in Hobart despite having been thrashed in the one-day series. West Indies have beaten Australia in both the Twenty20s the teams have played and Pollard said there was a good chance that winning run could continue with a side boasting several big-hitters.
"We are a pretty confident bunch in terms of the Twenty20," Pollard said. "When you look at it, it has been evolving so fast and the West Indians, we have been performing pretty well in the Twenty20 competition. Having the edge, that little psychological advantage against them could really play in our favour."
It's hard to imagine any squad feeling that they have the upper hand having just lost ODIs by 113 runs, eight wickets, 50 runs and 125 runs. But the freedom of Twenty20 could allow strikers like Pollard, Chris Gayle and Dwayne Smith to come in to their own without the pressure of having to bat for 50 overs.
Not that Pollard had a poor one-day series - anything but. In the absence of Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Ramnaresh Sarwan and Dwayne Bravo, he stepped up to be West Indies' leading run scorer in the series and was their second-top wicket taker.
He registered his highest ODI score and his best innings bowling during the series and his consistency was impressive, with scores of 31, 32, 62 and 45. However, Pollard knew that cashing in on those starts on a couple of occasions might have altered the results and he hopes turning into a matchwinner will be the next step in his development.
"Personally I'm happy with the way I performed so far this series," he said. "The couple of times I've played for West Indies before had been pretty disappointing for me so I wanted to go out there and show some consistency in my game. I think it has been good for me.
"But what has worked against me is that I've got the starts in the games but I haven't really been able to capitalise. My performances should have been matchwinning for the team to be victorious."
Pollard's power with the bat and handy medium-pace has made him an attractive Twenty20 option and he was a major part of Trinidad & Tobago's success in reaching the Champions League final. He was the highest run getter in the Big Bash during his time with South Australia and has an IPL contract with the Mumbai Indians.
It's an impressive resume for a man who is only 22 and yet to play a Test match. But despite his suitability for the short formats, Pollard is focused on winning a place in the West Indies Test team and it's a goal that might not be far away, given his solid first-class record of 1199 runs at 37.46.
"Test cricket is going to remain as the ultimate form, it tests your mental capacity," he said. "Hopefully one day I get the opportunity to get a maroon hat and go out there and play Test cricket for the West Indies."
Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo