Wankhede: Rohit Sharma's den, but Kieron Pollard's second home
Rohit Sharma and Kieron Pollard have gelled well to form a winning combination for Mumbai Indians (MI), but now they are in rival camps
Though the Wankhede Stadium—venue for today's third and final T20I between India and West Indies—is the home ground of India's limited overs team vice-captain Rohit Sharma. It's also like second home for Caribbean skipper Kieron Pollard.
Rohit and Pollard have gelled well to form a winning combination for Mumbai Indians (MI), but now they are in rival camps. Pollard, who helped MI emerge champions last season, scored 279 runs which included 83 against Kings XI Punjab at the same venue.
Windies coach Phil Simmons felt his captain's 10 years of IPL experience with MI will come in handy today.
"Pollard has played a lot at this venue; the others have not played that much. I think the experience which they have got from here is invaluable, especially the captain [Pollard], as he has been here for 10 years. He knows things inside out and that will definitely help mainly our bowlers," Simmons said in reply to a question about the Pollard-Wankhede factor at the press conference on Tuesday.
When asked whether he found any difference with Pollard being captain of the national team, Simmons, 56, a former WI all-rounder, said: "Kieron is proactive with all the players. He lets them know exactly what he wants from them. He's been good in the sense that they know that he'll give everything for the team."
Even Rohit waxed eloquent on Pollard's capabilities as a cricketer and leader. "With West Indies, this is always expected. I know Pollard really well and I know as a leader what he would be expecting from the team. It is a different team that we are seeing now. So yes, we have to be at our best when we play them," Rohit remarked.
Rohit underlined that Pollard is a smart thinker: "I think he's a very smart player firstly and obviously he has been the captain of the team. When it comes to Mumbai Indians, he has always been part of the leadership group.
When I wasn't available for one game, he captained the team. I know how he thinks."
Meanwhile, WI coach Simmons felt any total can be a good target to chase at the Wankhede Stadium. "We have seen in the IPL and international cricket that totals over 200 can be chased here…it is that sort of ground. You never know how much you have to [score] when you are batting first. There is a lot to think about in this match because there is the dew factor too and you don't know what is a good score when you are batting first. I think any score is chaseable here," added Simmons.
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