Why Nicholas Pooran has to stand up now in the T20 World Cup
Nicholas Pooran has to stand up Now: On October 29, 2021, the West Indies played Bangladesh in the 29th game of the T20 World Cup.
Sharjah was brimming with excitement to see a fascinating contest.
Up to that stage, the West Indies had lost to England and South Africa and were on the brink of exiting the marquee T20 tournament they had previously dominated in an ethereal fashion.
And they had done so on two separate occasions, once each in 2012 and 2016 by crowning themselves champions.
It was perhaps as strange as a scenario where a trailblazing musician was dabbling with the threat of an early exit
from the very stage he’d set on fire.
Yet three and a half hours later, the contest unfurled a sparkling, perhaps more of a West Indian result.
The Kieron Pollard-led side had beaten Bangladesh to keep its chances alive in the mother of all T20I battles winning the must-win by the barest of margins: 3 runs.
Although, the Bangladeshi bowling did keep the Windies on its toes, restricting what was essentially a powerful, free hitting side comprising see tak match winners to 142 (for 7), there was one man who made 40 on his own.
As it turned out, he was later anointed the player-of-the-match as well.
His name? Nicholas Pooran and his effort – a fiery 40 off just 22 deliveries!
What Pooran did a year back in time saved his side from the gallows of despair.
But truth be told, in a few hours of time or rather, very shortly, he could again find himself staring at the uncomfortable abyss, one that could again leave the Windies dumbfounded.
Which is why there is no other way out but for the Trinidadian to rescue his fledgling boat.
One who was a player in an important line up last year has now become the line up’s captain.
No longer can the side be saved by the redoubtable heroics of a Gayle, Bravo or Kieron Pollard.
The past, as it’s now turned out, is the past.
Thanks to a last minute travel gaffe Hetmyer is not around. He earned his axing from the squad.
The trinity of Mayers, King and Brooks is new and still settling in.
Nicholas Pooran is the go-to man for the West Indies today as they face Zimbabwe in a key situation that perhaps mirrors their predicament from 2021.
The signs are too obvious for them to be ignored.
There’s but one way: perform or perish.
And should they actually lose to Zimbabwe shortly, the Windies would’ve become akin to a classic Hollywood movie title that doesn’t seem too promising; all will be tempted to call the outfit “Gone with the Windies!”
Interestingly, should Nicholas Pooran, 5 in the last game against Scotland, manage to steady the Windies campaign, he’d have also steadied his.
As a matter of fact, runs from his bat and let’s hope they mirror his ballsy 40 against Bangladesh (in 2021), would’ve also rescued a horrible patch in his T20I career.
Pooran has only conjured 5 double digit scores in his last 10 T20I innings.
His highest score from the last ten outings reads like a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not: 24.
However, that came off just eight deliveries against giants India.
Truth is, the team that Pooran is set to face today, i.e., October 19, is anything but a giant, albeit being a closely knit unit whose sense of urgency to perform and win, it could be argued, is greater than that of Windies’.
It in in jarring pain of the politics and the decline of cricket back home that have arguably made Zimbabwe a stronger unit in the sport’s T20I format than the Windies.
Though many would loosely argue that their record is quite shambolic in major ICC events where Windies have two titles not one.
But again that is a fallacy with which the Windies have been callously hiding from facing the truth. And the truth or very nearly the truth is that the West Indies of present lack the courage and fire within to forge a memorable result.
That sense of urgency that you do truly need to take the game away from the opposition of the likes that Scotland displayed in the last game is missing from the Windies.
It simply can’t be seen.
But can it be put on display in this must-win encounter? For sure. Who can be that man who can do the job?
Nicholas Pooran, of course.
The reason is there in front of him as is also the motivation to do so.
Pooran’s bat fell absolutely silent against New Zealand and melt recently, Australia in the T20Is.
He, quite like his deputy, Rovman Powell, are simply sitting ducks especially against spinners.
The talent is there but not the intent. The good shots in the book exist but aren’t out for display.
At times, Pooran hits or desires hitting it too hard or maybe too early for his own liking or so it seems.
The last contest saw him getting out to the very exponent of bowling he’s failed to get on top of, at least, in this year: spin.
Can he manage to put his woeful run of form behind him and emerge with the goods for his West Indies?
Well, as stated preciously before in no uncertain terms, there couldn’t possibly be a bigger reason to do so.
Nicholas Pooran has to stand up now. It’s a do or die for the West Indies and hence, ditto for Nicholas Pooran.
ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 - West Indies
|West Indies Vs Scotland||118 - 5/160||ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 Australia||2022|
|West Indies vs Zimbabwe||0 - 0||ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 Australia||2022|
|West Indies vs Ireland||ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 Australia||2022|