Pooran says recipe for T20 World Cup victory is: make good plans, stick with them
— says happy to see Hetmyer batting responsibly in IPL
By Brandon Corlette
Despite his poor run of form in the Vivo Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021, West Indies Vice-Captain Nicholas Pooran would want to flip the switch and be confident as the ICC T20 World Cup looms. Speaking on Wednesday during a media conference, Pooran shared his opinion on what would make the West Indies successfully defend their title.
“For us to be successful, it’s simple: make good plans, and stick with (them) as much as possible. It is more about mental toughness in this World Cup, and enduring the pressure as much as possible,” he said.
“I think we have a lot of experienced and young, talented, skilled players. So, it is now for us to lean on these experienced players and cope with the pressure, because it is the World Cup,” Pooran said.
The Trinidadian batting maestro has said it would be a plus for the West Indies team to win the World Cup for a third time, since the Caribbean side is equipped with players who won the World Cup twice. He emphasised that for the West Indies to defend their title successfully, they must make plans and stick with them.
He also praised the experienced duo of Kieron Pollard and Chris Gayle, whom he believes would formulate some good plans for the team to execute.
Moreover, Pooran spoke about the importance of having the dominant presence of the talismanic batsman Chris Gayle in the team.
“That experience is valuable to us; we are very happy (to have Gayle). Even off the cricket field, he will back you, and he is one of the most positive guys in the Caribbean. His presence makes captains change their plans,” Pooran said.
Having, through the IPL, firsthand experience of the playing conditions in the countries where the ICC T20 World Cup tournament would be played, and by now familiar with those conditions, Pooran shared his assessment of the conditions.
“The conditions here (are) nice to bat in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. In the night, there is a lot of dew, so batting second is a good option, once we win the toss. I think the toss is very important in the night games in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The day games in Abu Dhabi, it’s a fair game, balls spin and stick a bit. At Sharjah, it’s anybody’s game who performs best,” Pooran opined.
Pooran has also shared his delight at having his team mate Shimron Hetmyer in the squad. Hetmyer has been having a good season in the IPL.
“It’s always nice to see Hetmyer batting properly. He had his ups and downs, but it is very nice, especially at the IPL, because it is the biggest T20 League around the world; so, it is nice to see him take responsibility. As a West Indian, it is nice to see him maturing and getting scores,” Pooran has said of Hetmyer.
Pooran on the Dhoni inspiration
Following a Punjab Kings versus Chennai Super Kings match during the IPL, Pooran was seen conversing with the legendary Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Reflecting on that priceless moment, Pooran said: “I enjoy watching him bat. He is someone I look at a lot, especially wicket-keeping, being a finisher and playing that tough role in a T20 game or even 50-over cricket.
“We spoke about the game, to be honest, and the amount of time we have in T20 cricket, although we think we do not have much time. Listening to him – and it is something Pollard and Dwayne (Bravo) chat about – hearing from him (Dhoni) and listening how calm he is about it, the conversation is all about intent, and how we go about it. He had some nice things to say about me, and I really appreciate it. For him taking some time off and sharing some knowledge, I really enjoyed the conversation with him, and hopefully I can take his advice and move one step forward with my career and batting,” Pooran declared.
West Indies will play their first warm-up match, against Pakistan, on October 18, and will play their first official match of the tournament, against England, on October 23.