West Indies v India, tri-series, Kingston June 30, 2013

'West Indies showed character' - Pollard

ESPNcricinfo staff

West Indies' stand-in captain Kieron Pollard praised his side for showing character in a tense one-wicket win over India at Sabina Park, despite the main batsmen failing to close out the game. Chasing 230, West Indies lost their ninth wicket with ten needed, but Nos 9 and 11, Kemar Roach and Tino Best respectively, held their nerve to seal their second consecutive win in the tournament.

"At the end, we got over the line and that's what matters," said Pollard, who stood-in for the injured Dwayne Bravo. "In the recent past, West Indies teams would have capitulated completely, so it shows we have a bit of fight and character in this side.

"We are West Indian cricketers. We attack. If we get into our shell, we get out. That's how we play cricket and it has worked for us. At the end of the day you have to back yourself. We have to be happy for victories. We cannot say we are not feeling so good because No. 10 (sic.9) and 11 got us over the line. They are batsmen in the team as well."

A modest target of 230 was made to look complicated by West Indies, who lost wickets due to extravagant strokes, despite being well ahead of the required rate. Johnson Charles, who set the platform with 97, was one of those who perished trying to clear the infield. In the end, it was a level-headed partnership of 10 runs between Roach and Best that ended India's five-match unbeaten streak in ODIs.

However, Pollard wanted his team to assess the reasons for such a tense finish. "It's just a matter of us doing the things that we haven't done so well, especially in the middle overs." he said. "As middle-order batsmen, we just have to take it upon ourselves and finish it for the team rather than letting No.10 and 11 (win the match)."

Charles anchored the innings and added 116 with Darren Bravo to give West Indies control after losing three early wickets. After a labored 29 off 58 balls in the first match against Sri Lanka, Charles was pleased to get his rhythm back, hitting eight fours and four sixes.

"I felt nice and relaxed at the crease. I was told to go out and play my natural game and that is what I did." Charles said. "In the last game I had no rhythm but this game I came out with a bit more intent and I knew exactly where I wanted to score. I played to my strengths and played shots according to the fields India set".

On a damp wicket, India lost Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli inside the first ten overs, before Rohit Sharma's eighth half-century against West Indies anchored the innings. A wayward Best returned at the death to claim the important wicket of India captain MS Dhoni first and Ravindra Jadeja in his next over.

"We bowled well against the Indians and reduced them to a score we knew we could chase down," Charles said. "The pitch got a bit flatter and was more of a batting pitch. I would have liked to have reached three figures and carry my team to victory but I'm happy we made it two wins in a row."

Pollard said he felt little pressure on his captaincy debut. "At the start of the game, there wasn't any pressure. It came later on when we were trying to win the game." he said. "We have experienced guys in the side, who have captained West Indies before, who have played all over the world and their knowledge was always going to help me go about the task of trying to lead West Indies."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Patrick on July 1, 2013, 23:05 GMT

    "We are West Indian cricketers. We attack. If we get into our shell, we get out. That's how we play cricket and it has worked for us" Yes captain Pollard, that was the case 20-30 years ago, under competent captains like Mr. Lloyd; Mr. Richards or even Mr. Richardson.

  • tamar on July 1, 2013, 21:45 GMT

    i love the fact that W.I won but they didn't have to be under such pressure to win. Too many times W.I put themselves under too much pressure. I hope they learn and play better in the next match. Bravo to Bravo and Charles for giving us that great partnership. we should have gotten that bonus point. Still love you guys win or lose.

  • Dummy4 on July 1, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    We are West Indian and unique to West Indies Cricket. And that alone determine Our game while at the Wicket

    The competition dictates that someone win and someone loose. And when we play, we are determined to choose. Not to play according to the chameleon press Whose identity is lost in each and every test

    What is the Point then to play but not enjoy OUR Game? But in Playing we always win, only because we preserves our Vibrant Name.

    We are West Indian and unique to West Indies Cricket. And that alone determine Our game while at the Wicket

  • Dummy4 on July 1, 2013, 14:04 GMT

    We won and I'm delighted. B ut why do all the hard work with the ball and throw it away with the bat? Some character I agree, but little or no commonsense. Sammy, my boy, the main culprit. His wicket caused Charles his century and almost caused WI the match. Charles is an inexperience player, Sammy should have stayed with the kid and take WI across the line. That match should have ended in the 40th over. Character involves some commonsense.

  • Donna on July 1, 2013, 13:09 GMT

    Character? - yah, really. The character was shown by Tino Best and Kemar Roach at the end. They are members of the team, aren't they? Different players do it for you on different days. Windies are showing definite signs of improvement in that they seem to believe that they can win. That will translate into more and more wins as they gradually improve. Still lots of work to do, though! I think India is still the better team but in recent times past we would have lost even when they didn't play at their best. Forward ever, backward never Windies!

  • Android on July 1, 2013, 10:05 GMT

    Pollard said it best, We are West Indians and thats how we bat, our cricketers from the past batted that way and we were kings, its like basketball when black players started dunking and doing crossovers it was a way of self expression and won you games also, we West Indians need to do the same as we know how, see ball hit ball and we love to add a little bit of style too, but had we lost the game I probably would be saying something different lol.

  • Dummy4 on July 1, 2013, 8:22 GMT

    if they were really going for the bonus ,why didnt they take the power play when bravo and charles were going ?? WHY !?

  • Dummy4 on July 1, 2013, 6:36 GMT

    Character - nah not really. The game was urs for the taking. WI were desparate for bonus point and lost wickets in a heap. A sensible approach was only taken when only one batsman was left. The last couple of wickets was really mistimed lofts at mid off/on. Character nah - they just didn't collapse quick enough. Although Credit should be given to Bravo and Charles for taking WI to a winning position. Overall, they were a much better side today, unreflected by scoreboard.