Shikhar Dhawan Nicholas Pooran
Shikhar Dhawan and Nicholas Pooran. Image: Twitter

Although the West Indies have lost their previous eight one-day internationals, skipper Nicholas Pooran thinks they are close to finding their strengths and recording victories.

West Indies’ 300+ totals in their first two ODI matches against India gave Nicholas Pooran some encouragement. 

Sticking Through These Tough Times As A Team: Nicholas Pooran

Nicholas Pooran. PC- Getty
Nicholas Pooran. PC- Getty

“We’re just starting to obviously put performances together,” Pooran said on the eve of the third ODI. “I don’t want to come to a conclusion and say our batting is our strength or our bowling is our strength.

As a team we’re still figuring it out. We haven’t put a collective effort together yet, obviously the results haven’t shown that yet, but the more games we play as a unit, we’re going to figure it out and we’re close to crossing the line and actually figuring it out what is our strength as a team. 

“I don’t want to be saying that our batting is our strength or bowling is our strength. I want both facets to be our strength, to be honest. That’s how we’re going to win cricket games. We’re just staying the moment, trying to learn as fast as possible and sticking through these tough times as a team.” 

Another Opportunity For Us To Learn: Nicholas Pooran

Nicholas Pooran acknowledged that the West Indies are still reeling after their agonizing losses in the first two ODIs, but he supported his team’s ability to rally and prevent a 3-0 rout on Wednesday. 

Nicholas Pooran. PC- Getty
Nicholas Pooran. PC- Getty

“The confidence level is there,” Pooran said. “The guys are obviously hurt. Those two losses obviously hurt us a lot but that’s another game and that’s another experience and another opportunity for us to learn. This game keeps teaching us different things and I’m just happy that we’ve had that experience.

It’s difficult to obviously lose, I’m disappointed, but that’s where the learning takes place and as a group we understand that and we know that for a fact that it’s our time now. 

“I keep telling winning and losing is contagious and at the moment in ODI cricket we’re losing and we’re finding ways to lose games, but in terms of the confidence level all the guys are ready for the challenge again. We’re ready to come out there and put our hearts and souls out there and perform together as a team.” 

Shai Hope Just Needs To Bat Through: Nicholas Pooran

After his century in his 100th ODI for West Indies on Sunday ended in vain, Shai Hope felt especially dejected.

Although opinions about Hope’s place in the modern era have likely been divided due to his career strike rate of 75.11, which is the lowest among the 16 highest run-getters in ODI cricket since his debut in November 2016, Pooran emphasized that Hope’s capacity to stay in the game and bat for an extended period of time frees up the batters at the other end. 

Shai Hope
Shai Hope. (Photo: Twitter)

“His role has remained the same for the last five years,” Pooran said of Hope.” I think he just needs to bat and bat through. He doesn’t need to study about the strike rate or any other thing. He just needs to be out there for the team.

We know once he’s there, he’s going to score runs for us and that is what matters the most, I think. He just being out there obviously sends a message and there’s a bit of a calm in the dressing room as well. 

“We know at one end he’s holding up things and other guys just need to fine-tune themselves to do their job and do what the team is required of them at that moment.

He’s very important to our team and he knows that. Time and time again, he keeps putting his hands up and keep proving to everyone how good he is as a player.” 

Nicholas Pooran Concerned By Busy Cricket Schedule

Nicholas Pooran was concerned about organising his workload and those of his teammates as West Indies got ready for a busy season.

West Indies and India will square off once more in a five-match T20I series in the Caribbean and the USA only one day after the current ODI series concludes. Then, New Zealand will come to play three T20 internationals and three one-day internationals. 

West Indies
West Indies. Image: ICC

The CPL, which takes place between August 31 and September 30, will feature West Indies players ten days after the New Zealand series concludes. The West Indies will then travel to Australia for two T20 Internationals in the weeks leading up to the T20 World Cup, only days after the CPL concludes. 

“That’s a tough one because as a group we want to win and we want all our players to be available for us,” Nicholas Pooran said.

“But in seeing that we need to look after our players and that’s the key as a collective effort for the coach, chairman of selectors and myself, we need to determine… not only myself but the other guys who we believe need to rest. 

“Obviously, that’s very important with eight T20 games coming up, four more ODIs and then CPL coming up and the addition of the SIXTY and the CPL, we definitely need to manage the players.

How? I’m not too sure, but we need to figure it out and be smart about it as well. But, at the end of the day, we want to win, and we need to have all our guys to be available to us.” 

Shimron Hetmyer Clears Fitness Test

Shimron Hetmyer
Shimron Hetmyer. Credits: West Indies Cricket

Shimron Hetmyer has passed a fitness test and will soon be eligible for selection, according to Nicholas Pooran. Hetmyer joined the ODI team at Port of Spain to work with the trainers and coaches after being left out of the West Indies’ most recent white-ball teams. He last competed for West Indies in the T20 World Cup in the UAE in November 2021.

“He [Hetmyer] passed his fitness test this morning, which is wonderful news,” Pooran said.

“So, we expect him to see him back as soon as possible. I can’t tell you exactly when because I’m not sure, but as soon as possible and as soon as you can get him on the field.” 

Also Read: Marizanne Kapp Ruled Out Of Commonwealth Games