Red Force captain Kieron Pollard has been closely monitoring the competition in the ongoing CG Insurance Super50 tournament in Antigua. But apart from scouting rivals, the West Indies T20 and ODI captain has an interest in which players may be staking a claim for regional selection.
Pollard will lead West Indies in a three-match T20 series and in a three-match One Day International series against Sri Lanka from March 3 in Antigua. However, the 33-year-old said he expected more from players in the tournament.
Just four Super50 matches featured 500 runs or more. There have been seven centuries in the tournament, but players from Barbados Pride, Jamaica Scorpions and Windward Islands Volcanoes are yet to reach triple figures. TT Red Force trio of Jason Mohammed, Evin Lewis and Lendl Simmons have all scored hundreds. Other centurions include the Leeward Islands Hurricanes pair of Nitish Kumar and Kaecy Carter and the Guyana Jaguars' Leon Johnson and Christopher Barnwell.
On Tuesday, speaking to journalists on Zoom, Pollard said, "Yes, I have actually gotten to see the pool that we have had. Yes, we have seen some outstanding performances, we've seen some average performances and we have seen some not so good performances as well. Previously in an interview I talked about some of the things that we are looking for. Have we seen it? Yes, we have. Have we seen it for long periods? No, we have not, but we just have to deal with what is in front of us now and we see where that takes us going into the Sri Lanka series."
In the Super50 tournament, approximately 50 per cent of the teams batting first have managed to bat for 50 overs.
Asked what he thinks of the standard of 50-over cricket in the region, Pollard said the players are not the only ones to blame.
"I think we have a long way to go. We've had discussions about how we need to improve the standards of our ODI play, the standard of the pitches, the standard of the ball and the overall out-cricket. In terms of being happy as to where we are at? I would say no, but sometimes you just have to work within the limitations you have and try to improve different things...can't look too much into it. It was just a five-game tournament."
The teams only played each other once during the preliminary phase with the top four teams advancing to the semifinals, which starts on Wednesday.
All matches are being played at the Coolidge Cricket Ground and at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium in Antigua. Pollard said that could also affect the standard of cricket. "A lot of games playing on the same pitches as well, so different factors can come into play and what we wanted to see we might not have or we would have seen a couple guys coming through the ranks as well. Having said that, I think there is still a way to go and hopefully in the not too distant future some of the controllables that we can control to produce eye-watering and mouth-watering cricket, we will be able to do that."