Kieron Pollard has hailed opening batsman Evin Lewis for his crackling knock of 79 in the final T20I against Australia that helped West Indies win the game by 16 runs and seal the series 4-1 on Friday. Pollard also appreciated Nicholas Pooran who led the team in all five games in his absence.
West Indies opener Evin Lewis played a vigorous inning of 34-ball 79 runs to help his side beat Australia by 16 runs in the final T20I and clinch the five-match series 4-1 in St Lucia on Friday.
Lewis was awarded as the player of the match for his phenomenal knock that included four boundaries and nine big sixes which engrossed West Indies white-ball skipper Kieron Pollard to call the southpaw a powerful player who becomes unstoppable once he gets into his rhythm.
“I think it’s great. He (Lewis) is starting to understand the talent that he has. He is not a big guy but he is really a powerful guy. So it’s just a matter of giving himself time and when he gets in no one can bowl to him,” Pollard stated in the post-match presentation ceremony,” Pollard said in the post-match presentation ceremony.
Lewis started the series with a duck and was subsequently dropped from the team for the next two games only to return back for the final two games where he boosted up his strike rate up to 220. Even in the South Africa series, he was the highest run-getter for West Indies with 178 runs with the help of twin fifties. Pollard stated that Lewis missed his centuries in those games and he was impressed with the opener after having a chat with him about his game.
“I think he missed out on a couple of international hundreds and it’s something we spoke about, obviously to get those hundreds as people tend to forget big 50s at times. But for him and to a lot of other youngsters in the dressing room who continue to learn and what’s pleasing is they continue to talk about cricket and rotation of strike this series has been good,” Pollard said.
Ahead of the series, Australia’s Mitchell Marsh didn’t have a single half-century to his name, only when he was promoted to No.3, in the absence of frontline players, he smacked three fifties in this series with his highest score of 44-ball 75 helped Australia win their solitary game in the series. With 219 runs from five innings, the all-rounder topped the charts in the highest run-scorers list from both sides and Pollard mentioned that Marsh’s spectacular performance was fantastic after adapting to the conditions in the Caribbean.
“He (Mitch Marsh) had a great series and he plays on surfaces that has great bounce and pace back home. Coming to the Caribbean and be able to dominate is fantastic for his confidence and good for him if he gets to bat for Australia and other T20 teams at number three,” Pollard mentioned.
Wicketkeeper-batsman Nicholas Pooran, who stood up as West Indies stand-in skipper in place of injured Pollard, was applauded by his senior for his captaincy and ending the campaign on a victorious note.
“I just want to say congrats to Pooran… with a couple of guys missing out this series, to win a series against Australia, gotta enjoy it,” Pollard admitted.
The defending champions West Indies is clubbed with Australia, South Africa, England and two more pending teams in the 2021 ICC T20 World Cup. The two-times World T20 champions recently lost to South Africa 3-2 before they bounced back against Aussies and Pollard believes that now his side has got some preparations against their opponents for the tournament.
“We might have a fair idea of Australia and South Africa, who are in our group for the World Cup, and for us it doesn’t matter and it’s just a matter of continuing to improve,” Pollard concluded.