Kingston: Kieron Pollard’s astute captaincy of the Barbados Tridents has come in for high praise from head coach Desmond Haynes, who has likened the player’s captaincy skills to those of much-heralded India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Under Pollard, the Tridents have played unbeaten in the Caribbean Premier League, chalking up four consecutive wins to romp into the semi-finals of the inaugural regional tournament.
Haynes, himself no stranger to captaincy, said though he had recognised Pollard’s potential before, the Trinidadian’s brilliance as a leader had been a revelation in the tournament.
“Now that he is captain of the Barbados Tridents and we are working closely together, I have got even more respect for him. Pollard reminds me a lot of India captain Dhoni,” said Haynes, the legendary former West Indies opener.
“I know that is a big comparison but I know what I am saying. He is a leader on and off the field and is leading by example for his team to follow. His reading of the game and his calmness in tough situations reminds me of Dhoni.”
Pollard has been one of the bright spots for Tridents, producing some explosive knocks, taking key wickets and snaring superb catches to inspire the Bridgetown-based franchise in the CPL campaign to date.
However, Haynes said it was not Pollard’s personal performances that had grabbed his attention but rather, his innovation and quick thinking when leading the Tridents in the field.
“I looked at the way he handled the bowlers and it was brilliant. In our second game (against Antigua Hawksbills) he did not even bowl (pacer) Shannon Gabriel but bowled (medium pacer) Dwayne Smith who was not in our plan to bowl,” Haynes explained.
“In the Red Steel game, he bowled Gabriel who did very well and also used Shakib al Hasan who nearly grabbed a world record. I am very happy with Pollard’s leadership of this team.”
Haynes led The West Indies in four matches of his illustrious 116-Test career and seven games of his 238 One-Day Internationals. He also played under the great Sir Vivian Richards who never lost a Test series as captain.
He said he had always backed the decision to appoint Pollard as captain of the Barbados franchise, as he had never been in any doubt about the 26-year-old’s ability.
“I was one of the men who supported the idea of Pollard being Barbados Tridents’ captain,” Haynes stressed. “I have seen him before during my short stints with the West Indies cricket team and I always thought this was one guy who understands the game of cricket.”
Pollard’s captaincy has also drawn praise from experienced Bangladeshi all-rounder al Hasan who was quick to echo Haynes’ sentiments.
“I’ve been very impressed for the three games I have seen him on the field and off the field. He is a very proactive captain and we’re having very good team meetings,” Shakib said.
“He is always leading by example. He is one of the best fielders in the world and he’s been showing that on the ground. He can also bowl a bit and whenever he needs to score runs, he gets them for the team. All in all I am very impressed with the way he is handling this team.”