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MI all-rounder talks of title clinching knock at Eden Gardens
By Harsh Kalan
Kolkata 27 May 2013
There is no doubt that Kieron Pollard has been one of the most important players in the Mumbai Indiansset-up this year. The all-rounder has not only shone with bat and sometimes with ball, but he has been a game-changer with his exceptional fielding as well.
From plucking certain sixes in midair on the field to crafting championship-winning innings, Pollard gave his 100 percent in all departments this season.
In an exclusive chat with IPLT20.com, this is what the West Indian all-rounder had to say about his half century against the Chennai Super Kings and winning the coveted IPL title for the first time.
MI have come close before and finally with your help they got their hands around the IPL Trophy
This is a great feeling! I have been playing for the Mumbai Indians for four years and to get this opportunity and to be able to pull it off, it is fantastic. It is something I will cherish forever.
What were you thinking when you went in to bat with MI reeling at 52/4?
Nothing much was going on in my mind when wickets were tumbling. I just wanted to focus on my game. I just wanted to back myself and my ability. I know what the team needed from me at that point in time. These are the games that you have to win for your franchise and thank God it came off and we actually won!
This season, your fielding alone gave MI a leg up in many contests. Have you been focusing on any particular drills?
I have not really been doing anything extra for my fielding. I just feel it is important to give your best each and every time you go on the field. And if you don’t score runs or take wickets, you have the opportunity to make up for it in the field. At least, that is the way I look at it. I just want to contribute in all three departments. To me, if I don’t contribute in either one of these departments, then I think I have failed.
You have won three finals over the last one year. You seem to be making a habit of winning
It is a fantastic feeling. So far I have been in three finals over the last year. First it was the World T20 finals; then I was in the finals for my Club back home - we (Trinidad & Tobago) won that and qualified for the Champions League (CLT20), before I got here and now the IPL. And that is what I was talking about before this final, that I have been in two winning finals before and I just wanted to keep that record going.
And now in the next few days, we have another important tournament coming up, the Champions Trophy. We (West Indies) are looking forward to that as well. Dwayne Bravo is going to be our captain, and we are really enthusiastic about it and let us see if we (West Indies) can play good cricket and come out on top over there as well.
Speaking of Bravo, you two seem to be enjoying your rivalry?
Yes, of course. I bring out my best against Bravo. He is my good friend, and we have a big rivalry going on. So, when we chat, we talk about how many championships he has won as compared to how many I have. I am neck and neck with him since I have won the IPL now. But he just told me that he has won the Champions Trophy as well. So I told him, ‘Don’t worry both of us can now go and win that!’
Finally, what do you have to say to all the MI fans who consider you a cult hero?
I would like to thank the Mumbai crowd. The support of the Mumbai fans, and fans all over India have been spectacular. This would not be possible without them. And hopefully, each and every time I come back to India, it will be the same great feeling.
With each of his 733 runs in IPL 2013, Michael Hussey evoked a question in the minds of many. ‘Why on earth did he retire from international cricket so early’? So prolific and fluent has he been in the young man’s game that leaving the overwhelming and buzzing fresh batting talents behind, he walked away with the Orange Cap – presented to the highest run-getter in the tournament.
Team man that he is, Hussey found little consolation in the individual reward as his team, Chennai Super Kings, fell short by 23 runs of their third IPL title.
Gracious in defeat, the former Australian batsman spoke to IPLT20.com after the final. He talked about his team’s shortcomings in the big game, lauded Mumbai Indians’ performance and re-lived his favourite 2013 IPL moments.
Is the Orange Cap a consolation?
Not really. I’d give the Orange Cap back away for the Trophy definitely. It’s quite an honour to have got it but it would have been nice to perform on the last day and in the big game.
Isn’t it a bit ironical that CSK played their most consistent cricket throughout this season and yet, you don’t have a Trophy in the end?
That’s how the game goes, doesn’t it? T20 cricket is such a fickle game. You’ve got to stay positive and philosophical about it. We’ve had a fantastic season and it’s just unfortunate that we got beaten by a better team on the day and we couldn’t get over the line. But we can still be very proud of our efforts throughout the course of this season. It’s been brilliant.
What went wrong with the batting today; on another day CSK would have chased down 150 without much fuss?
We obviously got off to a very bad start, losing two wickets in the first over. That set the negative tone for us and then we just kept losing wickets; couldn’t get a nice, busy partnership going, which would have given us a chance. Credit goes to the Mumbai Indians; they started very, very well with the ball and had us on the back foot right from the start.
Talking about MI; they revamped their entire team management this year. How big a factor did that play in their resurgence?
They have got some great people around who know cricket, who understand the game and know how winning teams work. Having quality people around definitely helps get results on the field.
What is your most favourite performance from this IPL?
We had great run-chases at home against the Royal Challengers Bangalore and Rajasthan Royals. They were two very memorable victories for us. But personally, I really enjoyed the performances of obviously Chris Gayle getting a 175 but also David Miller’s century. That innings of him was a real standout for me.
CSK have always been good batting team. But the in-coming pacers have added a lot of value this season.
Yes, we have always been a good batting team and it was a goal of the franchise to strengthen the fast bowling stocks and we have been able to do that. Mohit Sharma in particular has been fantastic over the course of the season and hopefully it gives him a lot of confidence going forward.
Looking forward to the CLT20?
Without a doubt, yes! It’s just nice to be able to see each other more than once in a year. So, to get together as a team, from all parts of the world again after a few months should be really good fun.