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Cricket news - Big step in the right direction for us: Pollard

West Indies may have lost the series but their captain is content with the takeaways on offer

West Indies may have lost the series but their captain is content with the takeaways on offer

The uncontrollable was in West Indies' control at the Wankhede Stadium in the crucial series-decider. Kieron Pollard won the toss and it was a no-brainer that he opted to chase on a wicket that had plenty of runs in it and on a ground where dew would assist the side chasing. Not a lot of overseas cricketers know the Wankhede as well as Pollard does, having spent ten years there with the Mumbai Indians. Even all that experience, the hands-down success of chasing sides, and the fortune at the toss, wasn't enough to give West Indies what would've been their first T20 series win in the year. India demolished them to post 240 in their 20 overs.

Evin Lewis being stretchered off the ground while fielding didn't help their cause either and after being reduced to 17/3 - effectively four - they had reached no point of return.

"It is what it is - they scored 240... I thought we didn't execute as we wanted," said Pollard after the game on Wednesday (December 11). "Yes they got off to a good start but we got a couple of wickets where we got back into the game. But when we came back in that scenario we didn't execute properly. That has been the story this series in terms of where we need to improve. It got away from us, but we chased big totals before. We chased 230 against South Africa in South Africa, we chased a big total here in 2016, 200-plus has been chased at this ground so it was not impossible. But it was going to be a steep uphill battle. And then to lose Evin didn't help our cause. Everyone else had to go in and put in that extra effort but we faltered at the end. Having said that, I thought as a batting unit throughout the series, we have been consistent. Scores of 200, 170, 170-odd, has been a must for us as a team in the last 12-18 months or so. Again, a positive step in the right direction. The guys showed positive intent and we didn't get over the line tonight, but it was a big step for us throughout the series."

Pollard kept his side in the game with a half-century and a handy 74-run stand with Shimron Hetmyer. But it was too much to do with after the top order had misfired. While West Indies' top order departed within the first four overs of the innings, India's openers in stark contrast occupied the crease for over half the innings amidst a record 135-run stand. Virat Kohli then knocked the wind out of the opposition, bossing the battle with Kesrick Williams that began in Hyderabad. He put it to rest in Mumbai with a devastating 29-ball 70. But positives was the only narrative Pollard insisted on throughout the three-match series, in victory or in loss.

"He (Williams) bounced back pretty well," Pollard said of his bowler who was belted for 60 runs in less than four overs in Hyderabad, predominantly by Kohli. In Thiruvananthapuram, Williams showed why a certain reputation preceded him in T20 cricket, bouncing back from that confidence-shattering outing with returns of 2-30. "You see his stats in T20 cricket, it's up there in terms of being able to do well. Again, it's a positive for us. And him bouncing back after that first game as well and coming and showing his mettle I think that was well done. There's still room for improvement for him and each and every one of us. But again, yes, that's a positive he can take out of this series. Even young Walshy. He bowled very well in the last couple of games. I think it was a very good track here and a couple of bad balls and you are going to get that. He's finding his feet now in international cricket. All in all, yes we lost 2-1, but I thought the guys stood up for themselves this series and that was very, very well done in that aspect."

Although West Indies have conceded the T20I series, they still have the opportunity to make amends in the three impending ODIs that begin in four days' time. When asked if it will be tough for West Indies to pick themselves up, Pollard once again put up an optimistic front.

"Not difficult. Again, there is [are] a lot of positives coming out of this series. You're talking about it being difficult and I'm talking about positivity. But, no, it's a different format altogether and couple of different guys - six guys I think - coming in who haven't been here since the start of November. They've been working hard and get an opportunity to see how the Indian team goes about things and hopefully we can plan and execute better. It's not going to be difficult at all - we've brought the series into a final game here, which I'm sure a lot of you guys didn't think would happen, if I'm being honest. But, it has happened, which means guys are doing the right thing and we're going to continue how we prepare."

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