Strong show against India will be fabulous for West Indies cricket: Nicholas Pooran

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White-ball skipper Nicholas Pooran tells TOI that West Indies are trying to find the right template for each format.

West Indies cricket is going through a transitional phase at the moment following a disastrous T20 World Cup in UAE last year.

Nicholas Pooran has taken over as the new captain, but the struggles have continued, especially in ODI cricket, with West Indies losing back-to-back ODI series against Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Things have been slightly better in T20s, with Pooran’s side winning the series against Bangladesh, and the skipper feels they have been a “mixed bag” of late.
“We are trying to find out the right mindset for ODI cricket. Once we get that, we will be fine, but now it’s about forming a template for each format,” Pooran told TOI ahead of their limited-overs series against India, which starts with an ODI in Queen’s Park Oval on Friday.

Pooran knows it’s going to be a tough challenge competing against an Indian side which is coming to the West Indies on the back of superb series wins in ODIs and T20Is against the powerful England.

“We are looking forward to the series and our aim is to be competitive and play exciting cricket. We will look to put our best foot forward,” Pooran said.

There are a number of stars missing from the Indian ODI side, with Shikhar Dhawan leading the team. The Indians seem to be taking the T20s a lot more seriously though, with only Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah the major absentees. Pooran feels so many Indian players skipping the ODI series makes their job a little easier, even though nothing can be taken for granted. “They have millions of players who can come and do that role,” Pooran said.
In the current context, with the T20 World Cup scheduled for Australia later in the year, the five- match T20I series starting on July 29 will have more significance. “They have match-winners with bat and ball and we can come out and challenge them here and Florida (the venues of the last two T20s), it will send a message across the cricket world. And it will be fabulous for us as a group as well,” Pooran said.
For two-time T20 world champions West Indies, it is doubly important to be competitive in the shortest format, because they have to play the qualifiers in Australia later this year to make the showpiece event.
It has been a steep fall for the Caribbean side, a country which produces players who are superstars of franchise leagues across the world. Though Pooran refused to get into the club vs country debate, the 26-year-old said that it may well be a “blessing in disguise” that they have to start from scratch again.
“We put ourselves in that position as a team, but that is okay, it happens. We were in a rebellion phase and now we have to start over. It’s a blessing in disguise that we will have to play the qualifiers. We have a series there and then the qualifiers will give us enough time to acclimatize ourselves to the conditions Down Under,” the captain added.
Pooran’s own form has been impressive and the left-hander feels he is in a good moment. “I am enjoying my role and I am doing some bowling too. The guys are supporting me 100% and we can do wonderful things,” Pooran said.

Source By – The Times of India

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