Mumbai: Big-hitting West Indian allrounder Kieron Pollard says the gambles Mumbai Indians took worked for the team in the win over Rajasthan Royals in the Indian Premier League. The 24-year-old Trinidadian, who scored a blistering 64 off 33 balls and grabbed four for 44, referred to bringing back pace spearhead Lasith Malinga to bowl the 15th over and his promotion in the batting order as the two gambles taken by his team.
“We took a gamble in bringing back Malinga [in the 15th over] to get a wicket as Owais Shah was batting pretty well. So we took the gamble and it worked for us. Some days it would work, some day's it wouldn't. This is T20 cricket. It just takes one chance and one over to change the game," he said after MI's 27-run victory on Wednesday night that pitch-forked the team to the top of the league table. Malinga stumped Royals' charge by getting rid off Shah, who made a belligerent 76 off 42 balls, off the first ball of his new spell, which turned the match in MI's favour.
About his promotion in the batting order, Pollard said, "I batted at five today. [In the] first game I didn't bat; [in the] second game I batted at 7. Some days it would come off, some days it wouldn't. Today it was a good day and it came off. I just play my game and know exactly what to do. I am coming off a series against Australia [T20 and ODI]. It's just a matter of continuing [what I did], adapting to the
conditions here in India, continue what I was doing. I would take it from there, game by game and situation by situation [batting higher up]," he said.
Against Australia in the ODI series, he mustered knocks of 4, 47 not out, 36, 102 and 33. The West Indian allrounder, who brought off a few outstanding stops on the boundary besides taking a catch, was happy to get the first fifty of his IPL career and said it would boost his confidence.
"It's my first fifty. I don't think you expect me to get a fifty from 17 to 20 overs. I got the opportunity today; it worked for us. It was the first for me and has given me the confidence."
Pollard said the team had gained some momentum with back-to-back wins over Deccan Chargers and RR. "Yes it's an important victory, first in a home game. We have to make use of 7 or 8 of them. We have the momentum, but it's important to continue that throughout the tournament."
He was of the opinion that the wicket at the Wankhede Stadium for Wednesday's game was a better one for batting than the previous one against Pune Warriors on April 6. "This one was a better track, with the ball coming onto the bat. We batted well ... We knew a score of 160 wouldn't be enough on this."