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Kieron Pollard: Pitches 'absolutely ridiculous, unacceptable for international cricket'

"It goes back even to our regional cricket as well. I think as a whole we need to do better," he added.

Andrew McGlashan
Andrew McGlashan
Jason Holder played across the line at Adam Zampa, West Indies vs Australia, 3rd ODI, Barbados, July 26, 2021

West Indies were bowled out for 152 in the series-deciding final ODI  •  AFP

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard took a fierce swipe at the pitches produced for the one-day series against Australia in Barbados, calling them "absolutely ridiculous."
While acknowledging that his team did not bat well in making 152 all out in the decider - which followed their 123 all out in the first match - he said that the fact that batting was difficult for both sides was a sign that the surfaces weren't good enough.
In the third ODI, Australia knocked off their target with 19 overs to spare to take the series. Australia also made comfortably the highest team total of the series with 252 for 9 in the first match. The pitch for the first match was used once, with the second two matches on the same surface.
"Coming here to Barbados, I think both teams struggled on the pitch and I think that's unacceptable for international cricket," Pollard said at the presentation. "We're not going to make excuses. We accept that we batted badly but I don't think the scores that we have gotten in this three-match series, for two top international teams, I think that's very embarrassing for us as a people. Coming from St Lucia to this, I think it's absolutely ridiculous."
When asked to elaborate on the conditions, he said: "It was plain for the world to see. If I continue going on about it, it's going to be headlines, 'Pollard this, Pollard that.' That's fine with me. But the reality is, we as players sometimes we get the brunt of the accusations and all the bad stuff. But give guys the opportunity to come and play on some good cricketing wickets.
"It goes back even to our regional cricket as well. I think as a whole we need to do better, and we as individuals need to do better as well. So we're not going to cast blame. We're going to accept responsibility as well. But I think as a holistic approach and holistic view to move forward."'
Unsurprisingly, the victors were able to reflect on the challenge in a more sanguine way. Mitchell Starc, adjudged the Player of the Series, praised how Australia's batters adapted after slumping to 45 for 6 in the second match.
"I feel like this wicket we played on in the last two games has probably been ready to go 10 days," Starc said. "We knew it was going to take turn, obviously Ash Agar comes into the team for this game. It was difficult for both teams, I thought with the bat, but certainly I think our batting group took some learnings from the last game where we probably struggled quite a bit against spin.
"So to learn a bit from that and transition into this game, that partnership especially at the end there with Matt Wade and Ashton Agar, and with Alex Carey and Wadey in the middle, was fantastic."
You don't get many pitches like that and I hope we end up seeing a lot more like that in the future
Spinner Ashton Agar after the final ODI
Player-of-the-Match Agar, who took 2 for 31 before an unbeaten 19 in his first match of the series, claimed his first wicket with a delivery that disturbed the surface to Shai Hope. West Indies' shot selection was also questionable in a situation where 200 could have made it a contest.
"It's pretty favorable conditions for a spinner," Agar said at the presentation. "You just had to get your length right. As long as you were hitting the stumps for the right-hander and pitching the ball to a left-hander, where it's spinning in and hitting the stumps to bring all modes of dismissal into play, that's all you can do and you let the pitch go to work.
"Really difficult conditions, really interesting style of cricket that was played. You don't get many pitches like that and I hope we end up seeing a lot more like that in the future."

Andrew McGlashan is a deputy editor at ESPNcricinfo