Innings vs Ireland a stepping stone in my career: Pollard

Updated: Mar 12, 2011, 10:28 AM IST

Mohali: West Indies all-rounder Kieron Pollard on Friday said that his explosive knock of 94 in his team`s 44-run win over Ireland in their group B World Cup match here is a "stepping stone" to greater things.

Under fire from all quarters for failing to contribute for the national team, Pollard smashed the Irish bowlers to all parts of the PCA Stadium to notch up his personal best, which came off just 55 balls.

"Hopefully, I can use this (innings) and go on and play a better innings for West Indies because the press and everyone have been saying that I haven`t really done anything for the national team. So, there is no better stage than the World Cup to do that (prove critics wrong)," said Pollard, who earned the Man-of-the-Match.

"I had that in the back of my mind. I wanted to perform for the West Indies. It is just a stepping stone," he told reporters in the post-match press conference.

"Going into bat, there was a little pressure because it was a bit of slow start but was just a matter of backing yourself. I took my chances and it came of," he added.

Apart from his big-hitting, Pollard also took a brilliant diving catch at long-on to ensure the early dismissal of dangerman Kevin O` Brien during Ireland`s spirited chase.

"Kevin is a dangerous player. We have seen what we has done against England. His wicket at that time was pretty crucial for us. I was strategically placed in that position for the catch," he said.

Asked whether there is additional pressure on him in the absence of Dwayne Bravo, who was ruled out of the tournament with a knee injury after West Indies` first game, Pollard said, "Dwayne is a big loss for us. There is pressure on us because he was an influential player. We all look upto him.”

"It was a matter of somebody stepping into his position. So, it`s an opportunity for me and I will try to use this." In Bravo`s absence, Pollard is also getting ample chance to bat up the order, and he said he is relishing the opportunity.

"I haven`t got the opportunity before to bat higher, bat more overs. So, I am getting a chance to showcase what I can do," Pollard said.

West Indies captain Darren Sammy, meanwhile, refused to get carried away with the fact that after today`s win, his side has virtually secured a place in the next stage of the tournament.

"Three wins out of four games is a good position for us to be. We play England next and we will focus on England. Hopefully, we will go out there and win another game and seal our place in the quarter-finals," he said.