WEST INDIES vice-captain for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Nicholas Pooran says the squad is focused on performing with intent and sticking to, and executing their plans during the competition that bowls off from October 17 to November 14 in the United Arab Emirates and Oman.
Currently in Abu Dhabi with most of the WI squad for that competition, Pooran spoke to the media after a practice session in which he batted alongside veteran Chris “Universe Boss” Gayle yesterday.
Pooran, who suffered a poor run of form in the second leg of the IPL, said he was not too concerned about his latest setbacks. He added that his confidence was sky high and he was reminding himself about following a process at the crease.
As for the team’s goals, Pooran said the much-discussed dot-ball issue was being given attention.
“Everything is around singles, singles, singles. We as a group, we talked about it, we chatted about it, but we have players to play certain roles in all honesty.
“As a batting group we want to get better, we want to improve that part of the game as well but our focus is not too much on singles - we won two World Cups with the same problem, to be honest - not getting singles but we won two World Cups, so I don’t think it (the focus) is on getting singles but on intent; intent and playing smart cricket and it is simple as that,” he explained.
The vice-captain added there will be times when the WI know they will have to put the ego aside and grind deep.
“If that is batting a dot ball or trying to get a single we will do that. The group, we actually have net sessions and outdoor sessions with match scenarios and we are trying our best to play to our strengths but also play and stay into the conscience (play the situation), which is obviously finding a way to get a single. So we are working on it, we are not the best at getting singles but it is a work in progress, so we believe in our process and believe in our team-mates; so hopefully we work on our singles and get more consistent scores.”
Pooran said the pitches and wickets in Oman and the UAE will present some peculiarities and differences between day and night-time games, but intellectual fortitude will be the key to the Windies’ success.
“For us to be successful, it is simple: Make good plans and stick with it as much as possible. I think it is more about mental toughness to see who can endure the pressure as much as possible. I think we have a lot of experienced players, a lot of young players, young talented players who have a lot of skills, so it is just for us to lean on those players and cope with the pressure because it’s a World Cup .
“Fortunately for us, we have a lot of guys who have won a World Cup twice already and that will be a plus for us and it is just for us to make our plans and stick with it as best as possible. We have a captain in Pollard, (experienced players like) Bravo and Gayle who, they have played the most amount of T20 games when you put it together, and we believe in their leadership skills as well. So we all have faith that they can come up with some very good plans and as a bowling unit and batting unit we will try our best to execute and once we do that the results will take care of themselves.”
West Indies play their first match in Group 1 against England on October 23.