DUBAI: West Indies captain Kieron Pollard has a simple advice for his team after being ‘demolished’ by England in their Twenty20 World Cup opener — forget the thra­shing and revive the title defence.

The repeat of the 2016 final on Saturday proved a one-sided affair with West Indies wilting for an embarrassing 55 inside 15 overs, and England romping home inside nine overs.

Pollard called the batting capitulation ‘unacceptable’ and expected better in their coming Group I outings. “It’s disappointing to start a tournament like that, being the defending champions,” the 34-year-old told reporters during the post-match news conference. “Having said that, it’s something that we just need to accept. We accept it. We take full responsibility for what transpired out there and for us, games like these, you try to bin it as quickly as possible and move on.”

England’s spin duo of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali shared six wickets between them and Chris Gayle’s 13 was the only double digit score in West Indies’ sorry-looking scorecard. “For us, we just need to go back, sort of look at our performances, look at the way we have gotten out and see if we can find maybe a medium as to how we need to approach it,” Pollard said.

The key was to put the setback behind and prepare for the next Group 1 match against South Africa on Tuesday.

“I think for us, it’s very, very important that a game like this you sort of forget,” the all-rou­nder said. “You try to dig too much into it. Then you might unearth some things that you don’t really want to. For us, it’s pretty simple: accept and move on.”

West Indies left out Roston Chase, who was expected to play the middle-order anchor role, while the move to promote Dwayne Bravo did not work either. “Roston has got the opportunity to be selected in the squad, but we thought that this was the best XI to go out and try to win the first game for us,” Pollard explained. “We lost a couple of wickets early on and expected the guys to bat a couple of overs, just knock it around and see if we could set it up for the back end but we kept losing wickets. Bravo went up to break the trend of the left-handers, just to knock it around a bit more. It didn’t work and these things happen.”

Published in Dawn, October 25th, 2021

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