Kieron Pollard is overrated and we feel a bit sorry for him

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Kieron Pollard made a golden duck today as West Indies were rolled for 61 by Bangladesh. Pollard’s failure isn’t all that surprising, because his record is actually pretty piss-poor.

Kieron Pollard’s record

Pollard is best-known for his clumping hitting, yet he averages 21.67 in one-day internationals and 12.66 in Twenty20 internationals. That’s shit.

His reputation is built solely on his performances in domestic Twenty20. Or, more accurately, it is built on just a handful of performances in domestic Twenty20, chiefly the 10 fifties he’s hit in his 106 innings and the 146 sixes that he has launched.

This is how he has come to be a ‘big name’ and the truth is most of us know that. Yes, that’s right, most of us know that he’s overrated, even though that would appear to be a paradox.

One eye-catching dimension

We feel a little sorry for Pollard. He’s kind of a symbol. He’s the definitive overvalued mediocre slogger. He’s a one-dimensional cricketer whose one dimension just happens to be the most eye-catching dimension there is.

He’s probably well aware of his limitations, but he’s not going to turn down stacks of cash because he disagrees with someone else’s assessment of his worth. Few people would do that and despite what some of you will say, high denomination paper money probably won’t staunch his tears when people write abusive photo captions, even if they are later deleted.

Really, he shouldn’t attract such criticism, because without today’s simplistic marketing we’d barely have heard of him.


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  1. Every team picks him in the hope that “someday”he will perform and destroy every bowlers. That “someday”unfortunately comes not more than once or twice a year!

  2. Keiron Pollard is proof that if you only perform one skill at any time regardless of whether or not it’s appropriate, people will start to believe that you’re the best at it.

  3. A bit harsh, KC, a bit harsh. I don’t think you’ve considered every aspect of his international role, not least his ability to gangle. All great West Indies teams have had a decent gangler, someone about whom my dad would say “That bat looks like a matchstick / toothpick in his hand”.

    Ganglers are vital – they confuse ex-batsman commentators with their techniques, which in a world of secondary front-foot trigger movements is refreshing. It’s a specialist skill that requires much more than being tall (although obviously that is a requirement). Crucial is the apparent inability to control all of your limbs at the same time, and that you have to bend down to punch gloves with your batting partner. A batting average of 13 and a high-score of 137 completes the picture perfectly.

    Admittedly, in previous years the men who’ve gangled for WI have also been among the greatest fast bowlers the world has ever seen, which possibly was more the reason they were selected. But nevertheless, there’s nobody else in this West Indies line-up who can do the job, and I don’t see anyone waiting somewhat self-consciously hunched in the wings either.

    1. What about the impeccably-monikered Sulieman Benn?

      His gangling ability is virtually unsurpassed in the modern era. There have been taller players, but almost all have had superior multi-limb co-ordination.

    2. I was going to see your Pollard and raise you Aashish Nehra. But I see KC’s got the royal flush here. I fold with dignity.

    3. OK, fair point. Benn is at least as good a gangler. Since they have different bowling styles, having them both in the squad allows the selectors to pick the right man for a particular pitch without having to worry about losing gangle. That’s quite a strength, when you think about it – I’m surprised the West Indies don’t do better because of it.

  4. Many Cricinfo West Indies fans do not seem to think of Kieron Pollard as overrated, but rather as a vital part of team balance. To be fair to them, though, they probably don’t really mean it, they just want an excuse to drop Sammy.

  5. Do we have an appraisal of Afridi coming too, given his somewhat similar batting averages? I’d definitely pick Afridi for his bowling at T20 level though.

    1. As an Essex man I love Napes but I don’t remember him nearly clearing the Pavilion at Lord’s.

      For that feat alone Pollard is worth a place in the history books.

    2. A feat which he didn’t actually manage? Conman as well as a shit cricketer? Say, now we’re getting good and libellous.

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