KIERON Pollard is set to make his return as West Indies white-ball (One Day International and T20 International) captain after sustaining a hamstring injury, during the recent T20 International series against South Africa, but Australia’s white-ball skipper Aaron Finch will miss Tuesday’s opening ODI at the Kensington Oval, Barbados due to a knee injury.
According to a report on the Cricket Australia website on Monday, Alex Carey will become Australia’s 26th ODI captain after Finch reaggravated a right knee injury during Friday’s fifth and final T20 at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground, Gros Islet, St Lucia.
Pollard sat out the five-game T20 Internationals against Australia, with his deputy Nicholas Pooran steering the hosts to a 4-1 series win.
Concerning Finch’s injury – hours before it was confirmed that he was out for Tuesday’s game – during Monday’s pre-game media briefing, Pollard said, “It’s an Australian cricket team that left their shores. These guys will want to impress, one way or the other. So, inexperienced or not, it can work for or against.
“It’s just a matter of us concentrating and working on what we need to do, what our plans are and limit them to at least (runs) as possible.”
For their Caribbean tour, Australia are without key limited-overs players such as Steve Smith (injury), Marnus Labuschagne (English county contract), David Warner, Pat Cummins, Glenn Maxwell, Marcus Stoinis, Jhye Richardson and Kane Richardson (unavailable).
Pollard is hopeful that the WI players selected for both white-ball teams can make a quick transition from T20 to ODI mode.
“We’re supposed to be professionals so, in terms of making the transition, it’s a mindset,” said Pollard. “It’s just a matter of the T20 guys continuing their momentum, not to curb their natural instincts but understand it’s a longer format of the game.”
With regards to his recovery phase, Pollard said, “I got the opportunity to get some rest. I’m looking forward to this series.”
Fast bowler Mitchell Starc, during an interview with Australian media, held via Zoom, on Sunday, touched on the number of first-choice players who did not make the trip, for one reason or another.
Starc said, “I’ve got my own personal views but, at the same time, each of those guys are going to have different situations which determines their decisions on this tour. You throw in conversations about different bubbles and quarantines periods. That would have come into some guys’ decisions.”
He added, “We’re here with a strong group of Australian guys. Some young, inexperienced guys with a chance to perform and potentially lock down some World Cup spots. We’ve got some things to improve on from the T20s which, hopefully, we can do in these one-day games.”
The three-game ODI series will be contested at Barbados, with the other matches scheduled for July 22 and 24.