MUMBAI: Mumbai Indians assistant coach Robin Singh feels that a player like Kieron Pollard is valuable to any T20 side as he has the ability to make any opposition jittery with his big-hitting prowess.
The big-bodied Trinidad and Tobago all-rounder hit six sixes in his 17-ball-51 to win a tricky match for Mumbai Indians against KKR with ease.
“What is really important that when you have someone like Pollard coming in at the backend and you have Jos Buttler just ahead of him, oppositions are never safe with any sort of score on the board. As you saw it’s just the question of one over in the game which changes the course of the game, people like Pollard actually you need to have in any team,” Robin, one among the innumerable number of support staff in defending champions dug-out told mediapersons after the match.
“His (Pollard’s) game has matured over the years (and) in the last season he played similar knocks like this right compared to initially when he came in. He can take the game right down till the end and he has understood the responsibility not just as somebody who can just strike the ball but actually somebody who is critical to the side. More importantly, it is sending jitters to the opposition,” Robin added.
Robin also said that Pollard has worked hard on rehab programme to get fit in time for the IPL.
“I think he is ok, may be his injury is just getting over. In a situation where he has come back to play much earlier than what we expected, he has done a lot of rehab, we are pretty satisfied even the trainers are satisfied with his fitness.”
Robin also indicated that the strategy was to target former ICL player Rajagopal Sathish, who was the weakest link in the KKR attack rather than going for the seasoned Sunil Narine, who has more variations.
When asked if he was surprised that Narine did not complete the spell, Robin replied:”No, I think, they probably used it as a tactic. Probably they wanted him (Narine) to bowl at the death, probably they thought we won’t take on Sathish but that was the over we (MI) needed to take him on.
“Their strategy did not work because many of their (KKR) main bowlers did not bowl well. The wicket was good to bat on probably the best batting wicket we had in the whole season here.”
Robin also said dew was not a factor and the visiting team fell short by 15 runs on the Wankhede wicket where he termed 180 as a “minimum score”.
Quizzed whether toss was a factor, he said,”To be very frank, I don’t think dew was a factor today , I mean we checked the wicket and outfield when we went out for both the breaks and it was very little dew and even the ball was changed after it was lost … they had a pretty good start .. they were under 15 runs short where they should have been and 180 was a par score on, minimum 180 on this track,” he added.
The assistant coach also felt that skipper Rohit Sharma is doing the job of anchoring the innings to perfection.