West Indies T20 captain Kieron Pollard on Thursday said young cricketers in his country need to be protected from “vultures of the game” when they are initiated into international cricket.
West Indies have opted for some young players in their 15-member team for the limited overs series against India beginning with the first T20 International here on Friday, and Pollard said they need to be given enough opportunity to showcase their talent.
“They (Brandon King and Keserick Williams) have been pretty good. It’s good that we have young guys coming in from the CPL. They are excited to represent West Indies. But the problem is, we as individuals try to judge people too quickly,” Pollard said at the pre-match press conference.
“We need to have patience. At the end of the day we need results but sometimes you have to be honest with yourself. We look forward to these talents showing the world what they can do. Sometime you need to have umbrella over them and protect them from the vultures out there to pull them down,” he added.
Youngsters like Brandon King, Khary Pierre, Sherfane Rutherford, Keserick Williams and Hayden Walsh Jr were preferred for the India tour to experienced players like Carlos Brathwaite, Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo.
“They (young players) need experience and we need to back these guys and see how far they can go because we have seen their talent, their attitude. It’s just a matter of trying to teach them and ease them into the world of international cricket which we know is a very tough place.”
Talking about the upcoming series, Pollard said his team will look to use the experience of playing in India to challenge the hosts.
“We play a lot of cricket in India. It’s just a mater of using our experience and hopefully that experience can be a good step for us. At the end of the day we are here to play some good cricket. We have prepared well and from tomorrow we will hit the ground and start running,” said Pollard.
“For us it’s just a matter of getting acclimatised and we are here for a while now since November and now it’s about putting the pieces of puzzle together. There are instances we knew we faltered in the last series. We have spoken about it and hopefully in this series we put these things right.”
Pollard said his side need to improve their collective game as a team to give India a tough fight in the series.
“We are coming up against India, a formidable team. They are no.1 team (in Test cricket) going around and I think that’s good for us, getting an opportunity to come across the no.1 team. We look at it as a challenge. We have to deal with what is presented in front of us,” he said.
“We are looking to do the basics right, use our opportunities every time we step on the cricket field. We are not focussing on too many individuals. We collectively as a team is looking to improve our cricket,” said the visiting captain.
On his personal form, Pollard said he just wants to contribute for the team’s success.
“Every time I step on the cricket field, as a professional, I want to have personal pride. You have good times and bad times, things have been going pretty decent for me and I just want to continue doing that and continue scoring runs for the team. I hope my contribution put the team in a winning position.”
West Indies will miss the services of key players like Sunil Narine, Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo, and Pollard said they will have to do the job with the available resources.
“You do not want to have players trying to fill in the gaps of senior players. For us, Russell, Narine and Bravo are big gaps, but as a team, we have selected 15 players to do a job here,” Pollard said.
“We back each and every player, when these senior players become available for selection, we can have a discussion about it. It is what it is, we have moved on from that and we know the reasons why they are not here,” he added.