“These sorts of games, we just have to bin it and move on. I don’t think any sort of panic will come into the camp.”
West Indies, defending champions following their triumph against the same opponents in the 2016 edition, were bundled out for the third-lowest score in men’s T20 World Cup history on a blameless surface, which Pollard described as “a good wicket to bat on”.
It was their third successive defeat since they arrived in the UAE, following losses in warm-up matches against Pakistan and Afghanistan, but Pollard insisted that the best attitude for his side would be to forget about the game rather than over-analysing their collapse.
“There’s no words to explain it,” he said. “Being bundled out for 55 is unacceptable. We accept that – we accept the responsibility. These sorts of games, we just have to bin it and move on. I don’t think any sort of panic will come into the camp. We just need to accept it – we have to take it on our chests as big men and move on, because this is international sport.
“In the warm-up games, sometimes the intensity is a bit down with all the teams. Even though Afghanistan and Pakistan won, the intensity wasn’t still that great. For us it’s a matter of finding our straps. We haven’t batted well in the three games so far and we have to find a way to get a competitive total on the board.”
West Indies opted against selecting Roston Chase, who had won a T20I call-up on the back of an excellent season for St Lucia Kings in the CPL and had appeared to be their designated ‘anchor’ in the Marlon Samuels role in the middle order. Pollard said that while Chase would be considered, he was not inclined to make “wholesale changes” on the back of a freak defeat, and said that the promotion of Dwayne Bravo to break up their run of left-handers might have worked on another night.
“You can look at all sorts,” Pollard said. “Yes, Roston has got the opportunity to be selected in the squad, but we thought that this was the best XI to go out and try to win the first game for us. Just because we’ve been demolished in eight-point-something overs and made 50-odd, doesn’t mean there’s going to be wholesale changes because, as we know, when you’re not playing and you’re on the bench, your stock tends to go up a lot higher. We just need to bin it and try to come back stronger.
“We lost a couple of wickets early on and expected the guys to bat a couple of overs, just knock it around and see if we could set it up for the back end but we kept losing wickets, hence the reason Bravo went up to break the trend of the left-handers, just to knock it around a bit more. It didn’t work today and these things happen. We have a plan for how we want to play this game. It didn’t come off today.
“Obviously, we play a lot of cricket around the world, and this is not the first time something like this would have happened in any team or any environment. This is not something that’s new to any of us because you would have had it as you play a lot of cricket. With the experienced guys, in a situation like this, it’s easy for us to move on. We have another game in three days’ time and with this group, each game is important. It boils down to a four-game mini-tournament and we’ll take that and move on.”
Matt Roller is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @mroller98