Mumbai Indians v Guyana, CLT20 2010, Durban September 16, 2010

Pollard's calm amid the violence

Nonchalance and brute power go hand-in-hand in Kieron Pollard's approach to batting
36

We freeze sportsmen into a solitary frame that perfectly captures their art and personality. Imran Khan was the leap. Kapil Dev was his pre-release load-up. Viv Richards was the swagger. Sunil Gavaskar was his leave outside off. Brian Lara was the whiplash square-drive. You get the idea.

If a sculptor had to chisel Kieron Pollard, he might have him finishing a hit over long-on, eyes watching the ball and the bat hanging over his shoulder. It's easy to pick that image. It would miss the essence of Pollard, however. It's the moment immediately after he completes that shot that best defines him. He drops his left hand holding the bat beside him and just stands there. Almost still. There is no expression on the face. The eyes are looking into the distance. It's that calmness that captures his nonchalance. The non-striker, who had reached half-way down the pitch stops as he learns from Pollard's reaction that it's a six.

"As soon as you hit, you sometimes get the feeling that it's going to be a six," Pollard said later. Adam Gilchrist has put it better: "You are the first person in the ground to know that it's going to be a six." It's the big-hitter's intimate private moment. It's a knowledge that gives him a high. It's an art that requires some amount of thought. "You see the ball and try to connect as much as possible. You practice a lot. You pick your areas and try to hit there," Pollard said.

Pollard's preferred areas are known to Guyana. "He likes to hit straight and to the on side towards long-on," Sarwan said. Guyana had met and stopped Pollard in the Twenty20 semi-final in the competition that knocked out Trinidad and Tobago out of the Champions league. Back then, Sarwan said his bowlers executed the plan perfectly. "You don't bowl straight to him, you bowl wider at him and make him try fetch it. Today, my bowlers bowled too full and too close to him." And he walloped them. Pollard later said the semi-final loss was in the back of his mind and it was nice to give it back to Guyana.

Guyana did bowl a lot of tripe today. Too full and too straight, as their captain said. Time and again, Pollard cleared the front foot and swung through the line. One six flew over 128 metres, the longest in the competition. Many disappeared over long-on. One, in particular, stood out. It was a full delivery and Pollard just wristed it softly. Or so it seemed. The ball was thrown back from the long-on stand.

Pollard just bullied the kids from Guyana today. In Mumbai's previous game, against South Australia, he hit one shot that screamed of quality. Shaun Tait had released an express delivery- short and climbing nastily. Pollard smashed it with slaughterhouse finality and the ball flew over midwicket and out of the ground. It was a brutal moment packed with adrenaline, courage and imperiousness. It was Pollard.

However, until he repeats this kind of violence against international attacks, and consistently, there will remain a question mark against him. Until then, his critics like Michael Holding who said "Pollard is not a cricketer" will not be satisfied. And rightly so. But before he does that, we can all enjoy his muscled hits and the nonchalance that accompanies it. Pollard reduces batting to its most basic form: See the ball and give it a whack. It's how the kids try to play. Pollard gives us the same joy; he takes us back to our childhood.

Sriram Veera is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on September 18, 2010, 18:11 GMT

    It seems really sad that regardless of what pollard does, some of u guys would always hate on him. you talk about w.i. unity, but constantly hate on T&T players, a notable proponent of hatred against T&T is Metman, who seems to have some sort of personal life changing experiences involving a trini, really man, get over it already. The others who constantly speak to pollards failures for w.i seem to forget that the W.i teams' use of pollard is very poor, and that he has improved a lot from say, 3 years ago. The other point speaks to those of u who have an issue with t20, accusing it of not being cricket. please give your fellow cricket fans a break, test cricket was once a never ending game, it came down to 6 days, now its 5. odi cricket wasn't even in the equation, that format too was denounced at first. Give T20 a break, it's still evolving, everything starts somewhere.

  • popa115 on September 18, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    if that was the case arytons a four would yield more runs than a six . dont get me wrong i agree the measuring of distance is ridiculous but we have to admit the better shot is the one that brings the most runs.

  • AyrtonS on September 18, 2010, 1:21 GMT

    You T20 fans are so confused that soon, if not already you will be watching baseball thinking that it is cricket. Example, you already refer to the pavillion as a dugout, what nonsense! you measure the distance of a six, purely Baseball behaviour, you talk about bludgeoning the ball, what a gross word to be used in cricket terms. Cricket was designed by the English folks to be an elegant sport NOT a game of crazies lashing and dashing and bludgeoning their way to millions. The most elegant shots in cricket are the cover drives, square drives, on/off drive and the late cut , all with the ball running along the turf.NOT that nonsense of hitting 63 metres sixes, you can always see that crap in baseball.

    But then again, for you to enjoy real cricket, you have to be one who enjoys the subtle things in life NOT one that tries to run at 100 miles an hour in everything they do.

  • Metman on September 17, 2010, 22:06 GMT

    @Mohamedamin !Very well said !All the Trinis are now coming out of the woodwork like ants,like Pollard has just destroyed an Intl attack.Remember,one of your writers recently said that Guyana is not up to Intl standards.@Trini 42,someone needs to tell you that CATCHES come under the heading of CRICKET,not only batting and bowling,also because Pollard scored some runs for MI ,would that make TT the best T20 team in the WI? That type of logic is called SOUR GRAPE LOGIC.Some of you Trinis need to grow up and stop living in your World of fantasy,thinking that your team is the best in the west.Some of you really need to be put on a diet of breast milk and whole wheat biscuits.TT qualified last year,and could not even make it to the final this year,maybe Guyana was the BEST TEAM LAST YEAR!

  • brsw on September 17, 2010, 21:57 GMT

    boys succeed at domestic games..pollard is merely a boy wit tons of potential,he'll be a man if he can replicate those performances for WI..good luck to him..WI need a destroyer.......trinis,plz accept the fact that your team didnt make it becuz they were'nt good enough to do so this time round.REST D GUYANESE TEAM, n support them even though they aint performing well,cuz we're all west indians..

  • on September 17, 2010, 20:35 GMT

    Pollard in Trini terms is a good "vooper"!! Michael Holding is correct. Pollard is not a cricketer. Pollard learned his trade in "wind ball" or tennis ball cricket. Swing hard and when you connect it's well hit. But for the purposes of Twenty20, he is perfect. It's all about entertainment. The big hitters win!! I'm surprised that not many more wind ball voopers are playing T20.

  • Vilander on September 17, 2010, 20:10 GMT

    The wild thing Tait -150 k bouncer slightly off of its intended skull target -Pollard,the big brute and his blade - 125 meters out of the pitch. I have watched CL t20.

  • Burbon on September 17, 2010, 15:41 GMT

    Well Trini42 if I'm not mistaken its Guyana who's in the Champions League Twenty20.You should be ashamed to mention that seasoned professionals like Trinidad had dropped 5 catches.Trinidad deserve to be where they are.Maybe you should share some of those sour grapes with Pollard as all his talk it looks like MI is sharing the same faith as Guyana.

  • on September 17, 2010, 14:04 GMT

    Come on! He is still not in league of Imran, Kapil, Gavaskar and Viv...Don't make such outrageous statements!

  • mravikiran on September 17, 2010, 12:51 GMT

    Few made for each others:

    Sachin - One Days Gavaskar - Tests Pollard - T20s

  • on September 18, 2010, 18:11 GMT

    It seems really sad that regardless of what pollard does, some of u guys would always hate on him. you talk about w.i. unity, but constantly hate on T&T players, a notable proponent of hatred against T&T is Metman, who seems to have some sort of personal life changing experiences involving a trini, really man, get over it already. The others who constantly speak to pollards failures for w.i seem to forget that the W.i teams' use of pollard is very poor, and that he has improved a lot from say, 3 years ago. The other point speaks to those of u who have an issue with t20, accusing it of not being cricket. please give your fellow cricket fans a break, test cricket was once a never ending game, it came down to 6 days, now its 5. odi cricket wasn't even in the equation, that format too was denounced at first. Give T20 a break, it's still evolving, everything starts somewhere.

  • popa115 on September 18, 2010, 14:49 GMT

    if that was the case arytons a four would yield more runs than a six . dont get me wrong i agree the measuring of distance is ridiculous but we have to admit the better shot is the one that brings the most runs.

  • AyrtonS on September 18, 2010, 1:21 GMT

    You T20 fans are so confused that soon, if not already you will be watching baseball thinking that it is cricket. Example, you already refer to the pavillion as a dugout, what nonsense! you measure the distance of a six, purely Baseball behaviour, you talk about bludgeoning the ball, what a gross word to be used in cricket terms. Cricket was designed by the English folks to be an elegant sport NOT a game of crazies lashing and dashing and bludgeoning their way to millions. The most elegant shots in cricket are the cover drives, square drives, on/off drive and the late cut , all with the ball running along the turf.NOT that nonsense of hitting 63 metres sixes, you can always see that crap in baseball.

    But then again, for you to enjoy real cricket, you have to be one who enjoys the subtle things in life NOT one that tries to run at 100 miles an hour in everything they do.

  • Metman on September 17, 2010, 22:06 GMT

    @Mohamedamin !Very well said !All the Trinis are now coming out of the woodwork like ants,like Pollard has just destroyed an Intl attack.Remember,one of your writers recently said that Guyana is not up to Intl standards.@Trini 42,someone needs to tell you that CATCHES come under the heading of CRICKET,not only batting and bowling,also because Pollard scored some runs for MI ,would that make TT the best T20 team in the WI? That type of logic is called SOUR GRAPE LOGIC.Some of you Trinis need to grow up and stop living in your World of fantasy,thinking that your team is the best in the west.Some of you really need to be put on a diet of breast milk and whole wheat biscuits.TT qualified last year,and could not even make it to the final this year,maybe Guyana was the BEST TEAM LAST YEAR!

  • brsw on September 17, 2010, 21:57 GMT

    boys succeed at domestic games..pollard is merely a boy wit tons of potential,he'll be a man if he can replicate those performances for WI..good luck to him..WI need a destroyer.......trinis,plz accept the fact that your team didnt make it becuz they were'nt good enough to do so this time round.REST D GUYANESE TEAM, n support them even though they aint performing well,cuz we're all west indians..

  • on September 17, 2010, 20:35 GMT

    Pollard in Trini terms is a good "vooper"!! Michael Holding is correct. Pollard is not a cricketer. Pollard learned his trade in "wind ball" or tennis ball cricket. Swing hard and when you connect it's well hit. But for the purposes of Twenty20, he is perfect. It's all about entertainment. The big hitters win!! I'm surprised that not many more wind ball voopers are playing T20.

  • Vilander on September 17, 2010, 20:10 GMT

    The wild thing Tait -150 k bouncer slightly off of its intended skull target -Pollard,the big brute and his blade - 125 meters out of the pitch. I have watched CL t20.

  • Burbon on September 17, 2010, 15:41 GMT

    Well Trini42 if I'm not mistaken its Guyana who's in the Champions League Twenty20.You should be ashamed to mention that seasoned professionals like Trinidad had dropped 5 catches.Trinidad deserve to be where they are.Maybe you should share some of those sour grapes with Pollard as all his talk it looks like MI is sharing the same faith as Guyana.

  • on September 17, 2010, 14:04 GMT

    Come on! He is still not in league of Imran, Kapil, Gavaskar and Viv...Don't make such outrageous statements!

  • mravikiran on September 17, 2010, 12:51 GMT

    Few made for each others:

    Sachin - One Days Gavaskar - Tests Pollard - T20s

  • on September 17, 2010, 12:47 GMT

    he is just pure entertainment...afridi used to be like that before...now, its all pollard!!

  • martin4587 on September 17, 2010, 11:36 GMT

    Pity he can't replicate it for the West Indies just shows what a motivator money can be

  • on September 17, 2010, 11:22 GMT

    good job done by Pollard for Mumbai Indians.. well no wrds for his six's very rare to see 9 sixes in one innings

  • ad-infinitum on September 17, 2010, 10:11 GMT

    which one was the 128 metres six ? the second one of the crandon over? over midwicket ? some of the distances of the sixes werent shown on tv..........

    hope mi loses to rcb so that atleast rcb will go through to semis.........if mi wins both will be knocked out

  • on September 17, 2010, 10:03 GMT

    Who says 20/20 isn't real Cricket?!? Last time I checked as kids when we went to the Backyard we to play cricket with our family and friends we did NOT try to bat for 5 days, we tried to hit the ball as FAR as we can and run every time. That sounds MORE like 20/20 then Test Cricket to me, and that is as KIDS! Test purist are just upset that they aren't as famous or making as much MONEY for their commitment to that format over there whole career, as Pollard has come in and at the age of 23 became a Multi-Millionaire and one of the most popular players in the World.

  • Denisha12 on September 17, 2010, 9:48 GMT

    He is entertaining and that's all that matters in T20 cricket!! Critics can say what they want but the crowds will come out in droves to see him...and he will be a very rich man!!!

  • Trini42 on September 17, 2010, 9:46 GMT

    Excellent batting from Pollard, the Destroyer. That will keep all those Guyanese quiet after they were ranting when Bravo commented that TnT is the best 20/20 cricket team in the WI. In that game TnT vs Guyana, TnT beat themselves by dropping five catches, period.

  • on September 17, 2010, 7:31 GMT

    Lol HE"S made for this format amazin man..........hitting sixes off 150 km man and tht too off a short pitched delivery amazin........a gr8 hand eye coordination......got tht immense power in him to clear the stadium......T20 PLAYEr indeed........Uthappa comes next if u see cos some of his shots r just flicks and it clears the boundary whoah :P

  • ladycricfan on September 17, 2010, 7:18 GMT

    T20 IS cricket. It is faster version of cricket. There is no time for blocking and defending. Batsmen have to invent new shots in T20 to play balls which they defend in Tests and ODIs. Instead of 11 or so players earning money from tests and ODIs here there are chances for T20 specialists to entertain fans and earn money. When Pollard comes to the crease we all are expecting sixes from him. Its a joy to watch his silky smooth sixes. It is up to the bowlers to stop him. Keep it up Pollard.

  • sweetspot on September 17, 2010, 7:12 GMT

    Poor Pollard! How much rides on him, no matter how strong his shoulders! Pollard batting without pressure is fun to watch, and he does thump the ball a long way, but I dare say Afridi was even more dangerous at his best, since he had a bigger range of shots. In terms of pure destruction, though, Vivian Richards still gives me knots in the stomach. You could bowl anything at him in any conditions, and he had ample time to thump you nonchalantly. Pollard is a product of the pampered batsman friendly era of cricket. Still, it didn't take Dhoni more than 2 overs to figure him out in the IPL final. All it took was a bowler who bowled to plan and a field set for the inevitable shot. Till we figure him out, like Ajantha Mendis, let's enjoy the show.

  • harikeshan on September 17, 2010, 6:43 GMT

    Mr. Holding has earned the right to comment unlike a few who feel its their birth right to comment on every single aspect of player's game. To the purists its test cricket that separates the men from the boys. On the other hand its such a refreshing sight to see someone like Pollard who can hit the ball so effortlessly. He does not throw the kitchen sink all the time. For him to arrive and a make a statement at the International level the WICB has to give him the place and time. Most would agree that Gilchrist was one who changed the way people considered a Number SIX or Seven. Then again WICB and its cricket is a mess. No wonder the likes of Holding are seething. They left a legacy that has been truly dashed and soured by regional politics.

  • Jkgsrt on September 17, 2010, 6:27 GMT

    only batsman in world cricket who have more sixes than fours.

  • on September 17, 2010, 6:13 GMT

    the only bowler who could stop Pollard is Maling, unfortunately he is his team mate. Even fastest in the world went for a 120 metres six.

  • on September 17, 2010, 5:19 GMT

    Pollard hit some beautiful shots and they were smooth as silk. Problem is that he is not a batsman but a mere hitter, I was shocked why Guyana were bowling such juicy balls. The best way to get a batsman like Pollard out is a simple full toss. Preferably targeting his box. These are legit balls and no batsman in the world can club them for six unless they make room and hit the ball. I have used it against batsmen and they are always the ball that get the batsmen out, who are in a mood to hit you for a 6.

  • on September 17, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    We all sit behind our computers and write! Have any one of you faced a ball at 130km!?!? yet we are quick to criticize players! Has he (Pollard) been given a long enough stint in ODI for the WI? As soon as he doesn't score 'what they expect' in two games, he's dropped! Yet some players from 'Grenada' who seem to have a 'Godfather" on the WI selection panel continues to be in the starting lineup time & time again!! Allow him to play three tours back to back, including TEST matches, then you can make judgment call! Mr. Pollard, I wish you all the best in the future and look for to your exciting brand of cricket!

  • NeoAzhar on September 17, 2010, 3:15 GMT

    an avg of 19.9 in ODIs (HS 62) and avg of 12.66 in T20I (HS 38)...Pollard has a long way to go before he can disprove Holding...

  • on September 17, 2010, 3:11 GMT

    There is nothing ugly about Pollard's hitting. He hits straight and with a beautiful follow through. Any player would love to have his power and ability. What he also showed against Tait is the amount of time he has against express pace. Mumbai did well pushing him to no.3 yesterday and I am waiting for a gutsy captain to let him open the innings and develop his game against the swinging ball. He is best talent to have come out of West Indies in a long time. It would be stupid to mess around with him and destroy his confidence with idiotic statements like those of Holding.

  • on September 17, 2010, 2:59 GMT

    This is how pollard should be used not all the time but certainly more often. Its a pity that MI is very unlikely to be in the nxt round so we wont see much more of polly but well done big guy u made us in Trini proud

  • AyrtonS on September 17, 2010, 1:15 GMT

    BalldiƱho IV, Micheal Holding should have no regrets, T20 is NOT cricket. It is for the johnny come lately that has no clue what real cricket is all about.

    T20 is simply about lashing and dashing.

    Test Cricket is what seperates the men from the boys.

  • decaby on September 17, 2010, 0:31 GMT

    pollard isnt jus a hitter of the cricket ball he has a very good technique and he needs to be batting higher in the ODI and T20 format and its been evident... kudos to polly...

  • mohamedamin on September 16, 2010, 23:04 GMT

    really it doesnt matter what any of u say about pollard here...its total rubbish...read this lne as written above "However, until he repeats this kind of violence against international attacks, and consistently, there will remain a question mark against him" pollard has not produced for the west indies..played 20 int t20 and highest score being 38 ...until he can produced for the west indies in international t20 then he is total no good of a cricketer.....and as all cricket commentators say...you cannot measure the quality of a cricketer in t20....lets see in his next assignmnet in WI colours..what he does.....Guyana does not have a any world class bowler....

  • on September 16, 2010, 22:53 GMT

    pollard the master of 20/20 he will destroy any bowler .

  • on September 16, 2010, 22:23 GMT

    Sarwan should not be talking about plan execution. When Guyana has no batting to follow up meager bowling with the exception of Bishoo. Guyuna beating Trinidad was a fluke, we know that now.

  • on September 16, 2010, 22:01 GMT

    Im pretty sure Michael Holding regrets making his comment that --> "Pollard is not a Cricketer...", this is the BEST clean striker of a Cricket Ball that West Indies has produced in YEARS. He's got that ol' Caribbean Calmness about him and doesn't let the situation phase him. And the ONLY reason why Pollard hasn't succeeded at International level yet is because the Windies don't know how to USE him in their line up. Batting him at the end of a 20/20 in the last 2 overs to score 50 runs... or Bringing him onto bowl against the opposing teams BEST middle-order batsman when he cleans up the lower middle-order and tail-enders in domestic 20/20 leagues. West Indies needs a NEW CAPTAIN cause Gayle has failed enough and he can't pull down these youngsters any longer!

  • GlovesOff on September 16, 2010, 21:51 GMT

    That's a beautiful Golf shot like finish !!

  • on September 16, 2010, 21:34 GMT

    nice article about pollard...really the calmness of pollard belies the power of this man...

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  • on September 16, 2010, 21:34 GMT

    nice article about pollard...really the calmness of pollard belies the power of this man...

  • GlovesOff on September 16, 2010, 21:51 GMT

    That's a beautiful Golf shot like finish !!

  • on September 16, 2010, 22:01 GMT

    Im pretty sure Michael Holding regrets making his comment that --> "Pollard is not a Cricketer...", this is the BEST clean striker of a Cricket Ball that West Indies has produced in YEARS. He's got that ol' Caribbean Calmness about him and doesn't let the situation phase him. And the ONLY reason why Pollard hasn't succeeded at International level yet is because the Windies don't know how to USE him in their line up. Batting him at the end of a 20/20 in the last 2 overs to score 50 runs... or Bringing him onto bowl against the opposing teams BEST middle-order batsman when he cleans up the lower middle-order and tail-enders in domestic 20/20 leagues. West Indies needs a NEW CAPTAIN cause Gayle has failed enough and he can't pull down these youngsters any longer!

  • on September 16, 2010, 22:23 GMT

    Sarwan should not be talking about plan execution. When Guyana has no batting to follow up meager bowling with the exception of Bishoo. Guyuna beating Trinidad was a fluke, we know that now.

  • on September 16, 2010, 22:53 GMT

    pollard the master of 20/20 he will destroy any bowler .

  • mohamedamin on September 16, 2010, 23:04 GMT

    really it doesnt matter what any of u say about pollard here...its total rubbish...read this lne as written above "However, until he repeats this kind of violence against international attacks, and consistently, there will remain a question mark against him" pollard has not produced for the west indies..played 20 int t20 and highest score being 38 ...until he can produced for the west indies in international t20 then he is total no good of a cricketer.....and as all cricket commentators say...you cannot measure the quality of a cricketer in t20....lets see in his next assignmnet in WI colours..what he does.....Guyana does not have a any world class bowler....

  • decaby on September 17, 2010, 0:31 GMT

    pollard isnt jus a hitter of the cricket ball he has a very good technique and he needs to be batting higher in the ODI and T20 format and its been evident... kudos to polly...

  • AyrtonS on September 17, 2010, 1:15 GMT

    BalldiƱho IV, Micheal Holding should have no regrets, T20 is NOT cricket. It is for the johnny come lately that has no clue what real cricket is all about.

    T20 is simply about lashing and dashing.

    Test Cricket is what seperates the men from the boys.

  • on September 17, 2010, 2:59 GMT

    This is how pollard should be used not all the time but certainly more often. Its a pity that MI is very unlikely to be in the nxt round so we wont see much more of polly but well done big guy u made us in Trini proud

  • on September 17, 2010, 3:11 GMT

    There is nothing ugly about Pollard's hitting. He hits straight and with a beautiful follow through. Any player would love to have his power and ability. What he also showed against Tait is the amount of time he has against express pace. Mumbai did well pushing him to no.3 yesterday and I am waiting for a gutsy captain to let him open the innings and develop his game against the swinging ball. He is best talent to have come out of West Indies in a long time. It would be stupid to mess around with him and destroy his confidence with idiotic statements like those of Holding.