Keiron Pollard is one of the most prominent players from West Indies who is currently playing his 11th season of the IPL.
What is even more impressive is that he has spent all 11 of these years playing for the same team in Mumbai Indians.
Despite undergoing multiple changes over the years, MI have stuck with Pollard.
It won’t be an exaggeration to say that Pollard is a very important part of the Mumbai Indians outfit and here is a look at some of the reasons why that is.
Single-handedly Change A Match’s Outcome
Pollard isn’t the most dependable player but he is someone who has a very specific role in the team.
Mumbai is a very dynamic team with a lot of different types of players each filling in a very specific niche.
The trick is to ensure that they all come together beautifully and it is Pollard who acts like the cohesive force holding them all together.
He can be sent in to bat at any position but is usually sent out somewhere in the middle of the innings.
He has the ability to score at a brisk rate irrespective of the field settings and whether a powerplay is in progress or not.
His importance to the team is further driven home by the fact that prior to his arrival, MI were one of the weaker teams but since 2010, they have become the biggest powerhouses in the IPL.
We cannot talk about Pollard without mentioning his six-hitting capabilities. He is currently the second most prolific six-hitter only behind a certain Chris Gayle.
The ability to hit sixes at will can come in handy especially during the second half of an innings or during a super over.
Spinners tend to go defensive against him and this makes him great at absorbing pressure.
One Of The Best All-rounders In IPL
Like in any form of cricket, finding the right balance between bowlers and batsmen is one of the most impactful factors when it comes to the eventual success or failure of the team.
This is where having an all-rounder makes life so much easier for the team management and the captain on the ground.
They can have more than five bowling options to cover for any particular bowler having a bad day without reducing their batting depth.
The trick is to find an allrounder who is good in all departments and Pollard is one of those all-rounders.
He is a dangerous batsman while being quite a capable bowler as well. When needed, he can bowl the full quota of four overs and this gives the team a lot of flexibility.
If a particular bowler is having an off day, Pollard can be bought in to cover for them.
Just like his batting, he can bowl pretty much throughout the innings barring the death overs and that is what has allowed MI to come out of many tricky conditions without suffering too much damage.
Electric On The Field
One of the most underrated qualities that Pollard brings to the team is his body language.
He is one of the best fielders on the ground and this is despite his size.
There is also something about the way he moves that is very positive.
This helps keep the team in high spirits which reduces the stress levels and keeps mistakes to a minimum.
This might not seem like a big thing but it is what allows the team to stay competitive throughout the long IPL season.
Having someone like Pollard in your corner is a huge confidence booster.
Mumbai Indians have been one of the consistent table-toppers since 2010 and Keiron Pollard has played a big part in it.
As such, it comes as little surprise that there was a four-way bidding war to sign him in 2010 and Mumbai have retained him in every season since.
Cover image credit: Kieron Pollard