Pollard shrugs off favourites tag
Bridgetown (Barbados): Kieron Pollard has shrugged off the favourites tag being heaped on the West Indies side preparing for the ICC Twenty 20 World Cup in Sir Lanka later this month.
The big hitting all-rounder says being labelled as favourites would only put the West Indies players under a certain amount of pressure going into the tournament, reports CMC.
Pollard, a T20 specialist and one of the world`s most valuable cricketers, said it`s only performance on the field of play that counts.
"We have a very good team and a lot of people are saying we are favourites. But you know when you are favourites it comes with a pressure tag as well," said Pollard, part of a 15-man squad involved in final preparations at the High Performance Centre at UWI, Cave Hill, Barbados.
"But you know hopefully names on paper comes for nothing. It is performance in the field. So it`s a matter of putting all what you have practiced into play."
Pollard`s comments follow similar statements from the West Indies captain Darren Sammy earlier this week playing down the favourites tag.
Windies are currently fifth in the ICC T20 rankings, below South Africa, England, Sri Lanka and India.
The likes of New Zealand skipper Ross Taylor, Australia all-rounder Shane Watson and former India captain Sourav Ganguly have publicly lauded Darren Sammy`s men as one of the favourites to win the World Twenty20.
"Twenty 20 is about who does the basics right. You have a situation to play to the best of your ability and try to execute as properly as possible and hopefully it comes off for you on that day," said Pollard, the joint highest paid player in the 2010 Indian Premier League, representing Mumbai Indians.
"It`s another day of cricket. Another tournament and once we relax and play our cricket we are going to do well."
The West Indies defeated New Zealand in series involving all formats of the game earlier this year, and are currently involved in a week-long training camp ahead of the limited-overs showpiece.
Pollard said he is anxious to show his worth in bowling after recovering from a shoulder injury that affected his bowling last year.
The West Indians have been pooled with Australia and Ireland in Group B in the 12-team tournament.
Their campaign gets underway against the Aussies in Colombo Sep 22.