West Indies captain Kieron Pollard

STANDING TALL: West Indies captain Kieron Pollard plays solidly during the first CG Insurance One-Day International against Australia at the Kensington Oval, Barbados, on Tuesday. Pollard made 56 as West Indies lost by 133 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis/Stern method. —Photo: CWI Media

WEST INDIES white ball captain Kieron Pollard expects a fight-back from the West Indies when they tackle the Australians in the One-Day International.

After a devastating 133-run loss to the Aussies in the first match Tuesday, West Indies will be keen to make amends in the second day/night game of the three-match CG Insurance series this afternoon at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados.

They will need to dig into their inner strength to rebound.

“I think it was there for everybody to see that we didn’t have the fight needed,” Pollard told the media via Zoom yesterday. “There were a couple of soft dismissals...and we know Australia is very dangerous with the new ball, especially Mitchell Starc in first two or three overs and we weren’t able to negotiate that and they had our backs up very early... So we were disappointed in what transpired last night (Tuesday).”

Noting also that Man-of-the-Match Starc swung the ball into the right-handers and away from lefties in his opening overs, Pollard added that Australia were better on the day and “hopefully we can bounce back as a team with that fight and that grit and determination.”

Pollard said he didn’t wish to make excuses about the failure to adapt from the T20 series to the ODI format but rather blamed it on the overall batting display.

“I was disappointed with the overall batting performance, not only to being unable to chase down 250 but (to improve from) the position we were in. I don’t think we showed enough fight, enough courage. They are going to come hard at us. It is an experienced bowling attack that they have and we need to fight as individuals and as a team when we are out there,” Pollard reasoned, “...a team must never be centred around one individual and not because one individual does not play well means we can’t have a good batting performance.”

Commenting further on whether the transition from one format to the next had affected his side in the first ODI, the WI skipper said: “If you say that, then that’s an excuse because in the (Sri Lanka) series prior to this we played three T20 matches before the 50 overs and we were able to go and chase different totals at different times,” Pollard argued.

“Obviously the personnel is different, yes a couple guys would have played in that T20 series, (but) the mode of dismissals wasn’t actually one of (the) guys ‘swiping out their hands’.

“They were soft dismissals, maybe sometimes a little bit of technical deficiencies in negotiating what was thrown up at us.

“So if we look to go down that road (of excuses), to me it would be taking the gloss off the good things we have done in the T20 series.”

He continued: “So let’s not go down that road and let’s just put it down to that we weren’t able to adapt to the high quality bowling that was presented to us last night, and hopefully with a couple discussions… let’s see what happens in the next ODI.”

Following the Windies’ dominating 4-1 series win over the same opponents in the T20s under Nicholas Pooran, Pollard made his return to the captaincy after a left hamstring injury.

In a rain-affected match Tuesday night, Alex Carey—standing in for the injured Aaron Finch—top-scored with 67 on his captaincy debut for Australia, and shared in a 104-run stand for the fifth wicket with Ashton Turner before world-class pacer Starc decimated the Windies batting with his five-wicket haul (five for 48).

Within the first eight overs, Pollard’s men were already 27 for six, and only his 68-run partnership with pace bowler Alzarri Joseph spared them further blushes. Pollard made 56 runs in the losing effort.

With the ball, Hayden Walsh Jr built on his T20 Man-of-the-Series performance with a “five-for” (five for 39) to give the Windies a shot. However, the Aussie bowlers and the WI’s poor batting effort ensured the chance at victory was not taken.

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